NHB is thrilled to announce that Simone Messmer and Stephen Hanna will return to star as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier in NHB’s 2018 Nutcracker!
Born in Minneapolis, Minn., Simone Messmer began studying dance at the age of nine at Ballet Arts Minnesota. At 14, she continued her training at The HARID Conservatory in Boca Raton, Fla., and was awarded the Jeannot B. Cerrone Award for Excellence in Dance. At 16, she resumed her training at Ballet Arts Minnesota under the direction of Bonnie Mathis. Messmer participated in American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Program in 2001 and joined ABT Studio Company in that same year.
Messmer danced with ABT for over a decade, rising to the rank of soloist in 2010. While in the company, Messmer originated major roles in new works by Alexei Ratmansky such as Firebird, Symphony #9, On the Dnieper, as well as by Christopher Wheeldon and Benjamin Millepied. Her extraordinary range extends from Twyla Tharp’s Baker’s Dozen to Giselle’s Myrtha. Messmer was awarded the Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship in 2010.
Messmer joined San Francisco Ballet in 2013 performing principal roles in Balanchine’s Agon and Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, and Ratmansky’s From Foreign Lands and Chamber Symphony. Other major roles included “The Man I Love” in Balanchine’s Who Cares?, The Firebird in Passokov’s The Firebird, and appearances in works by Mark Morris and Liam Scarlett.
She joined Miami City Ballet as a principal in 2015.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he trained under Roberto Munoz, Mr. Hanna entered the School of American Ballet (SAB) and studied with esteemed teachers Stanley Williams, Andre Kamervsky, and Richard Rapp. At SAB Mr. Hanna was awarded the Mae L. Wein Award for outstanding promise. Mr. Hanna became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in 1997, and later that year hey joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. Mr. Hanna was promoted to the rank of soloist in February 2004 and in January 2005 he was promoted to principal dancer. He has performed principal roles in ballet by Peter Martins, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Richard Tanner, and Albert Evans.
Mr. Hanna has appeared in the movies Center Stage (2000), Disney Royals (2017), and Forever (2014), in addition to several Broadway productions, including Billy Elliot (2008), Silence the Musical (off Broadway 2011), On the Town (2014), An American in Paris (2015), and Hello Dolly (2017).