CriticalDance Forum

Questions about Nutcracker?
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Author:  Swissdancer [ Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Questions about Nutcracker?

Hey everyone!
I just turned 16 years old.
I have just begun pointe work.
I will be joining my studio's company.
It has always been my DREAM to perform in the Nutcracker!!

What roles could I get flat or beginner pointe?
What roles have you had in the Nutcracker?
What do I need to know about the Nutcracker?

Thank you!

Author:  ksneds [ Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions about Nutcracker?

Greetings and welcome!

You will need to find out more about your studio's Nutcracker or the version performed by companies near you. There are many, many different productions of the ballet, and the types of roles vary widely. For instance, some productions cast children in most roles, while there are professional productions which use very few children. Some productions have many walk-on roles, others have mostly dancing roles. Also, especially for walk on roles, some companies/studios base casting more on size than ability because they need to fit people into existing costumes.

I would ask your teacher about the studio's production and/or any local productions that may have open casting calls. As a rule, smaller studio productions are more likely to have roles for dancers with less experience, while larger, professional productions - if they have open casting calls - may only take teenagers/adults for walk-on roles.

There are a number of DVDs/VHS tapes of existing productions by larger ballet companies which might give you some idea of the Nutcrackers. You can find copies on iTunes, at your local library and via online stores like If you want to get a taste for them, you can always search for Nutcracker on YouTube - there are probably thousands of video excerpts ranging from local productions to professional productions.

If you are looking for versions to watch:

** New York City Ballet (with Macaulay Kulkin as the Nutcracker Prince)
** American Ballet Theatre (with Baryshnikov & Kirkland)
** Royal Ballet (there are 2001 and 2010 versions)
** San Francisco Ballet (2008)
** Bolshoi Ballet
** Mariinsky (Kirov) Ballet
** Pacific Northwest Ballet (with sets by Maurice Sendak)
** Mark Morris' Hard Nut is a totally different take on the classic

The NYCB and Royal Ballet versions are often on TV in December.


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