I have posted many posts about Nutcracker, but I am going to do a couple more before the season is over haha:
While the Nutcracker is a holiday tradition, for dancers it might just be the ballet that pushes them over the edge. For dancers in smaller companies, Nutcracker season means longer rehearsals, and being over used. On any given night, a female corps dancer might go through 3 costumes changes. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any room to complain, because Nutcracker pays the bills. For stage managers and lighting designers, Nutcracker basically runs itself. And for those in PR and Marketing, Nutcracker sells tickets on its own… unless you are pnb whose ticket sales are down, hence why they are ditching the Stowell/Sendak version and going Balanchine.
5 Nutty Things that happen in productions of the Nutcracker:
- Have you ever noticed in the Balanchine Version, that music from the Sleeping Beauty is used between party and battle scene? Or the opening score of Snow is wasted on a moving bed? If you didn’t know how that happens… usually there is someone underneath crawling and spinning it around… Awkward I know. Casting sheet:
Bed: Your name.
- The corps is like a well oiled machine… The corps has so many parts to dance during Nutcracker… and the fun part? They usually don’t dance the same spot twice. These girls go from party scene, to snow without being warmed up, and then dance in flowers. Usually the casting board has the act, scene, and roles, but for the corps it might go by numbers and one night you might be dancing girl one, and the next night you might be dancing girl eight. I guess it gives you some variety…
- Sugar Plum pas de deux might just be one of the longest pas de deuxs out there. The variation is ridiculously long, etc.
- Have you ever noticed that Clara and the Nutcracker in the Royal Ballet’s version must have to chug a redbull before their performance. They dance in like every variation and flowers…
- Finally, sometimes I watch productions of nutcracker and I am like wtf is this… random ugly costumes… non cohesive storylines… over rehearsed tired dancers… or my favorite… bringing in guest artists for the leads from major companies, because no one in your company can fill the role… or you would rather have a “name” for the sake of selling tickets.