Picture this: Champions of dance

Charlottesville Ballet dancers Cassidy Burk (left) and Jonah Sunnen perform a selection from The Nutcracker at Champion Brewing Company on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. Photo: Zack Wajsgras Charlottesville Ballet dancers Cassidy Burk (left) and Jonah Sunnen perform a selection from The Nutcracker at Champion Brewing Company on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. Photo: Zack Wajsgras

The unlikely pairing of beer and ballet—under an outdoor tent, no less—drew a standing-room-only crowd last Saturday at Champion Brewing Company, beside the railroad tracks downtown. Attendees, including plenty of kids, were treated to a pas de deux from The Nutcracker by member of the Charlottesville Ballet. The event, which kicked off the ballet’s 2019-20 season, is the brainchild of Champion’s taproom manager Sean Chandler, whose daughter Maeze is a budding ballerina. (She will appear in the troupe’s performance of The Nutcracker, December 19-22, at Piedmont Virginia Community College.) “Connecting with the arts and creating a community space have always been priorities for me,” says Champion founder and owner Hunter Smith. Let’s all raise a frothy glass to delightfully unconventional events like this one.

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