Arts Ballet of Florida celebrates the company’s 25th anniversary with a Gala performance of “The Nutcracker” on Thursday December 8 at Aventura Arts and Cultural Center in Aventura. Following the gala, ABT will continue to perform “The Nutcracker” with four more shows, two on December 9 and one each on December 10 and 11.

ABT will continue to perform “The Nutcracker” with three more shows from December 16-18 at Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale.

The success of Arts Ballet of Florida is attributed to its founder, former ballet dancer Vladimir Issaev, now 68, who is celebrating a personal milestone on his 60th year dancing, teaching and administrating ballet.

“I consider myself to be a very fortunate and lucky man,” said Issaev. “From the very beginning when I took up ballet, I knew immediately that dancing would be my passion and I learned to evolve through the years and especially enjoy teaching young men and women the art and love of ballet.”

Sugarplum Fairy and her Cavalier Saaya Okada and Remina Tanaka [Photo Credit: Patricia’s Photography]

Issaev first honed his ballet skills in the 1970s in the Opera House of Odessa, Russia and within ten years became a ballet master and choreographer. He arrived in Miami in 1997 and developed a strong rapport as a ballet teacher locally, teaching young dancers at the prestigious Miami City Ballet as well as the Orlando Ballet. His reputation as a compassionate teacher gave his students inspiration in participating in numerous international competitions that were often staged in Miami.

“Without a doubt, the years I spent teaching at the Miami City Ballet were important both with the quality of the dancers and the many people I met in the community who loved and supported the ballet,” said Issaev.

Given that many ballet companies have folded over the past 25 years, Arts Ballet of Florida stands along with Miami City Ballet as the two pillar ballet companies in South Florida with a strong core of professional dancers, aspiring students of ballet and a board of directors to insure the continued growth of the company along with the Vladimir Issaev School of Classical Ballet located in North Miami Beach..

Arts Ballet of Florida has ensured its success with 16 professional dancers (eight men, eight women), five more understudy dancers in the corps de ballet, two ballet mistresses and two choreographers in addition to Issaev.

Spanish Dance Moegi Matsuzawa [Photo Credit: Patricia’s Photography]

Issaev choreographed Arts Ballet of Florida’s production of “The Nutcracker” in a unique fashion drawing from his roots in Russia. With a combined cast of 104 professional dancers and students, the ABT draws from the athletic fluidness and grace of the cast to give “The Nutcracker” its unique charm, with sparkling costumes and visual special effects.

New this year are costumes of The Angels by designer Jorge Gallado along with a new Christmas tree created by Elena Bond to be lit in the middle of the stage with snowflakes immersed in many scenes

Standing out are ABT dancers Saaya Okada and Remina Tanaka as the “Sugar Plum Fairy and Her Cavalier”; Owen Horsford and Yayoi Sasaki in “Snow Scene”, Corps De Ballet dancer Moegi Matsuzawa in “Spanish Dance”, character dancer Haiou Wang as “Drosselmeyer” and Horsford teaming with Kirsty Walker in “Wall Of Flowers”.

The gala performance of ABT “The Nutcracker” will honor Issaev as many of his former professional dancers, students and colleagues will pay tribute to Issaev’s 60 years in ballet. 

Along with regular performances of ABT’s “The Nutcracker” at Aventura Center and Parker Playhouse, ABT will perform at many Broward and Miami-Dade County Schools on December 15 and 16.

ABT will also include a special sensory performance of “The Nutcracker” for those on the autism spectrum on December 10 at 11 am at Aventura Arts and Cultural Center.

Arabian Dance – Entire Corps [Photo Credit: Patricia’s Photography]


Arts Ballet of Florida presents choreographer Vladimir Issaev’s “The Nutcracker” with a gala celebration on Thursday, December 8 at 7:30 pm at Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, 3385 NE 188 Street in Aventura. Tickets range from $50-100.

Other ABT “The Nutcracker” performances at Aventura Center are on December 9 and 10 at 7 pm, and December 11 at 3 pm. And a special sensory performance on December 10 at 11am. Tickets are $50 and $20 for the sensory performance.

ABT will also perform “The Nutcracker” on December 16 and 17 at 7 pm and on December 18 at 3 pm at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE 8th Street in Ft. Lauderdale. Tickets range from $25-50.

For tickets and more information, call 305-948-4777 or go to

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