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Nashville’s Nutcracker Edition

The Sporting Life
Nashville’s Nutcracker Edition

by Cass Teague

Kayla Rowser as Sugar Plum Fairy and Sugar Plum's Cavalier in Nashville's Nutcracker. (Photo by Heather Thorne)

Kayla Rowser as Sugar Plum Fairy and Sugar Plum’s Cavalier in Nashville’s Nutcracker. (Photo by Heather Thorne)

Nashville Ballet is celebrating 10 Years of Nashville’s Nutcracker each weekend through Saturday, December 23. This holiday favorite debuts new elements, including snow in the audience. Since its world premiere in 2008, Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling’s original spin on the classic has cemented its place as one of Music City’s most beloved holiday traditions.

Nashville Ballet premiered The Nutcracker in 1989, but the production was reinvented as Nashville’s Nutcracker in 2008 with a unique concept incorporating Nashville’s vibrant past along with new choreography, sets, costumes and on-stage magic tricks.

“I added a few surprises for this anniversary year as a special way of saying thank you to the community for making us a part of their holiday tradition,” Vasterling said. “For the first time, it’ll snow on the audience after the iconic snow scene. Another big addition is the debut of a new youth cast role, the Dancing Bear Cavalry, which allows us to welcome even more young dancers on stage with us.”

Along with 54 members of Nashville Ballet’s professional dance company and second company, Nashville’s Nutcracker features a youth cast of 296 young dancers from School of Nashville Ballet and the community—the largest youth cast in the organization’s history. The local dancers, along with 60 members of the GRAMMY Award-winning Nashville Symphony performing Tchaikovsky’s celebrated score, transports audiences into a holiday dreamland filled with clever nods to Music City’s sparkly past, including well-known landmarks and characters.

In the story, beginning at the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Nashville, Clara and her Uncle Drosselmeyer meet a colorful cast of characters from faraway lands. When Uncle Drosselmeyer gifts Clara with a wooden Nutcracker on Christmas Eve, the toy magically transforms to life as a handsome prince and leads her through a remarkable adventure. Clara visits everyone from the Snow Queen to the Sugar Plum Fairy, including the spellbinding characters she met at the Exposition. When Clara finally returns home, the audience is left to decide if it was all just a dream—or not.

Nashville’s Nutcracker is presented by 21c Museum Hotel Nashville, Google Fiber and RJ Young. Tickets can be purchased in person at the TPAC box office in downtown Nashville, by phone at (615) 782-4040 or at the NashvilleBallet website. Remaining performances are Friday, Dec. 15 at 7pm; Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2pm and 7pm; Sunday, Dec. 17 at 1pm and 6:30pm; Thursday, Dec. 21 at 2pm and 7pm; Friday, Dec. 22 at 2pm and 7pm; and Saturday, Dec. 23 at 2pm and 7pm.

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