By Debbie Bryce
For the Idaho State Journal
POCATELLO — Dec. 13th marks the ninth production of the “Nutcracker” by the Brindusa-Moore Ballet Academy and for owner, instructor and performer, Sergiu Brindusa the annual event has special meaning this year — for the first time, Brindusa will be presenting the ballet as a U.S. citizen.
Brindusa became a citizen of the United States on Sept. 12. He came to the country 22 years ago, first as a student, then as a performer and instructor and then securing resident alien status.
“I took my time and I made a conscious effort to get the maximum flavor of America,” Brindusa said.
He and his wife, Beth Moore, moved to Pocatello in 2005 and opened the Brindusa-Moore Ballet Academy shortly after.
Moore, a native of Atlanta, Ga., an accomplished national and international ballerina, and Sergiu, originally from Communist Romania, have a 7-year-old son, Ian Michael Brindusa, who is also performing in the Nutcracker this year with his parents.
“Ian showed a particular talent for ballet, so he’s been taking lessons and this year he’s in the ballet,” Sergiu said. “For the first time we will be dancing together as a family.”
His family was the biggest reason that Sergiu eventually sought citizenship.
“I wanted to feel like I was united with my family,” Sergiu said. “I am very proud to be an American. It’s what I’ve always wanted. This has been an awesome year for me . One I will always remember.”
Raised in Romania, Sergiu’s parents worked at the elite levels of state-sponsored arts and centralized industrial planning. His father, Florin, is recognized in his own country and worldwide for his contribution to ballet. Sergiu’s mother, a chemist, was director of operations for the dairy industry in Romania.
“This is the first year that my father hasn’t been here for the Nutcracker,” Sergiu said.
Florin is currently working on production of a number of ballets in Seoul, South Korea.
The Nutcracker opens Dec. 13, at Frazier Auditorium on the Idaho State University campus. For the past eight years the annual holiday event has been sponsored by the Rotary Club of Pocatello and all proceeds go back to the community through the club’s service and charity programs, which include arts and education grants.
Rotary Club of Pocatello also sponsors two condensed free performances of the “Nutcracker” for fifth graders in School District 25, Fort Hall, and area private schools.
This year, 144 dancers from the Brindusa-Moore Academy and the Pocatello community will perform the well-known Christmas ballet.
Audition were held in September and the troupe has been rehearsing nightly to prepare for the opening performance.
“Now that we’re just one week out, we are working especially hard. We are now doing run-throughs,” Sergiu said. “Obviously, we have to iron out the quirks, and when you’re working with kids, there are always quirks.”
Sergiu commended the young ballet troupe for their commitment to the performance.
“Ballet is hard work and it’s a big responsibility for them, but it’s fun and exciting too,” Sergiu said.
Earlier this year, Moore said that the ballet talent in the Pocatello community surpassed the town’s size.
“And it just seems to be getting better and better,” Moore said.
Moore said students in Pocatello take the art of ballet seriously, and they work hard to attain excellence.
The Brindusa-Moore Ballet Academy also teaches jazz and tap to its younger students, but the school’s focus is on ballet.
“Ballet is our forte, we want to remain true to the movement of ballet,” Sergiu said.
The Brindusa-Moore Ballet Academy teaches at the highest level of the art and many of their students have gone on to prestigious national academies and professional dance.
On April 26 the ballet academy will also present “Copelia,” a comical ballet with a heartwarming message.
“It’s about dolls, it’s about life and it’s about love,” Sergiu said.
While working together, rehearsing together and performing together might tax some relationships, Sergiu said it works for him and Moore.
“I am a very lucky person to be able to do what I know and what I love with the person I know and love the most,” Sergiu said. “At the end of the day, I have a talented, stylish, beautiful ballerina that I am proud to show off anywhere is the world.”
When you go
The premier performance of the annual Nutcracker ballet is set for Friday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. in the Frazier Auditorium on the Idaho State University campus. Performances are also scheduled Saturday Dec. 14, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Reserved and general seating tickets can be purchased at the Pocatello Chamber of Commerce, general seating only tickets are on sale at Maag Prescription and Idaho Unlimited.
Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $6 for children 12 and under and $18 for reserved seats.
The annual event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Pocatello and all proceeds support the club’s service and charity programs including grants for education and the arts.
Rotary Club of Pocatello also sponsors two shortened free performances of the “Nutcracker” at Frazier Auditorium for fifth graders in School District 25, Fort Hall, and area private schools.