If you haven’t attended Ballet Idaho’s “The Nutcracker,” now is the time to do it. This year will be the last performances of the current production before directors reinvent the show.
This year’s production is one that everybody knows — Clara rescues the Nutcracker Prince and takes him on a journey to the Land of Sweets, which holds the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy, Dancing Angels, Flowers, Dew Drops, Bakers and other confections and delights. The show is choreographed by former Artistic Director Peter Anastos, who retired at the end of the 2017-18 season. The performances will also feature The Boise Phil’s live rendition of Tchaikovsky’s score for all six performances.
Anastos recently reunited with Ballet Idaho to help coach the dancers, including more than 100 children from the Ballet Idaho Academy as well as 22 professional company members. The show calls for a shorter preparation window — about three to four weeks — than other ballets from the company, as the dancers have performed the show many times.
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“The biggest thing about being in (‘The Nutcracker’) for 11 years is being able to bring something new and fresh and exciting to the audience, as well as yourself,” said Principal Dancer Adrienne Kerr, who will perform as the Sugar Plum Fairy and in other roles.
Kerr is in the middle of her 11th season at Ballet Idaho. She joined the company when Anastos started his production of “The Nutcracker” 11 years ago, but she still is practicing to make her performance better.
“Dancers are always trying to be better, that’s our job ... you don’t want to give less energy one year because you’re tired of it, because there’s going to be a little child in the audience seeing ‘The Nutcracker’ for the first time,” she said. “You could be affecting their whole memory of that. You want to make it as good as you can possibly make it because you have no idea the effect you’re making on these kids and families.”
As the audience and dancers alike say goodbye to this production, there will be much to look forward to in 2019. Dancers will have new costumes, the production will feature a new set and the ballet will feature some new choreography.
Although the new production is designed to take place in an earlier time period — around the mid-18th century — the materials have a “fresh, new feel,” Anderson and Marketing Director Liberty Klautsch said. The set, which was designed by Christopher McCollum and made by Cobalt Studios, will be filled with vibrant colors to coordinate with the rest of the production.
The dancers have gotten a sneak peek at what the new production will be like while getting fitted for the new costumes. The dream-like costumes were designed by Margaret A. Mitchell, a costume designer based in Texas.
“The costumes are incredibly ornate; they’re very imaginative,” Kerr said. “I think it’s going to put a new spin on the characters ... keeping that integrity of the classical story but adding a little bit of newer energy to it.”
The completed costumes made their big debut to the public on Dec. 7 at Ballet Idaho’s costume reveal party. The ticketed event allowed the community an up-close peek at the marvelous, fairy-tale costumes that won’t be on stage until the 2019 season.
This year’s production of “The Nutcracker” begins on Dec. 13 and will run until Dec. 16.
To purchase tickets, visit balletidaho.org.
Section A – $61
Section B – $46
Section C – $38
Single tickets went on sale in October. Season subscriptions are on sale now, starting at $122.
Dates and Times:
7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13
7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14
2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15
Noon and 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16
Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts
2201 W. Cesar Chavez Lane in Boise