News

Nutcracker Dreaming: 4 Productions to Experience This Season

Ballet West in Waltz of the Flowers. Photo by Luke Isley, courtesy of Ballet West

Check out these old (and new) productions of ballet's beloved holiday classic.


Longest running

As the longest running production in the U.S., Ballet West preserves Willam Christensen's 1944 choreography. In 2017, the company ambitiously renovated the production elements with a $3 million upgrade. All costumes (nearly 300) were updated, as well as 24 drop sets. There are new special effects, including the sleigh flying off at the end of the production (Mr. C's dream all along). December 1–29 (Salt Lake City)

The artists of Ballet West. Photo by Beau Pearson, courtesy of Ballet West

Brand-new

Atlanta Ballet has a new Nutcracker production with a stellar production team, the first in more than 20 years. Yuri Possokhov's choreography comes to the stage with set designs by Tony Award nominee Tom Pye. Innovative projection design is the work of Tony Award winner Finn Ross, and the design team is complete with Sandra Woodall's stunning costumes and David Finn's elegant lighting. December 8–24 (Atlanta)

Yuri Possokhov in Atlanta Ballet Nutcracker rehearsal. Photo courtesy of Atlanta Ballet

Conservatory-produced

University of North Carolina School of the Arts' production brings together high school and college students and three of the schools on campus. The Schools of Dance, Music, and Design & Production work together for a full staging with live orchestra, sets, lighting and special effects. UNCSA also annually invites two professionals from varying companies to perform with the cast. December 7–16 (Winston-Salem)

Mother Ginger, as part of the UNCSA production. Photo by Peter Mueller, courtesy of UNCSA

Female-choreographed

Premiered in 2011, Cincinnati Ballet's production is one of the few in the country created by a female choreographer. Victoria Morgan's Nutcracker includes a cast of 146 dancers: the company, second company, professional training division, children and parents. December 13–24 (Cincinnati)

Melissa Gelfin and Cervilio Amador, Principal Dancers at Cincinnati Ballet. Photo by Peter Mueller, courtesy of Cincinnati Ballet

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