This Holiday Season, American Repertory Ballet’s “Nutcracker” Goes Virtual

american repertory ballet
Courtesy of Eduardo Patino

The global pandemic has cast its spell of uncertainty far and wide. Due to many unknowns, and in an effort to keep everyone safe, cultural events and major performances across the country and around the world have been cancelled.

For communities throughout New Jersey, American Repertory Ballet’s Nutcracker marks the start of the holiday season. This year, however, the annual production will not be performed in its traditional fashion.

“It was a difficult decision, but our top priority remains the health and safety of our staff, artists, and audiences,” says Executive Director Julie Diana Hench. “Since 1964, American Repertory Ballet’s Nutcracker has been a celebration of community and youthful imagination. We look forward to the day when we can all be together again in-person to celebrate the magic of this professional and joyous holiday tradition.”

The production is also a highlight for selected students from Princeton Ballet School to perform alongside the professional dancers of American Repertory Ballet.

While the traditional stage production cannot be performed this year, American Repertory Ballet and Princeton Ballet School will still create a way for students and families to experience the ballet’s magic. Featuring professional dancers from American Repertory Ballet, the School’s new Nutcracker Suite will be a virtual series of scene selections and socially distanced choreography performed and recorded in studio – complete with sets and costumes.

“Nutcracker is a timeless family tradition and a wonderful way to celebrate the season,” says Aydmara Cabrera, Princeton Ballet School Director. “It’s a great introduction for all ages to professional ballet, and a treat for our dancers, knowing that it brings such joy to audiences year after year.”

American Repertory Ballet also plans to increase its outdoor community presence, bringing the joy, beauty, and artistry of dance and elements of Nutcracker directly to sidewalks and town squares this holiday season.

Registration is now open for the fall season at Princeton Ballet School, the official school of American Repertory Ballet. Classes begin September 9th, offering in-person and online instruction for all levels ages 3 through adult. To learn about fall classes, please visit arballet.org.

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