Nashville Ballet to reprise 'Nashville's Nutcracker'

One of Nashville’s newest holiday traditions, Nashville’s Nutcracker, will return to TPAC’s Jackson Hall December 9-18 with additional performances and new surprises.

“So many Nashvillians make Nashville’s Nutcracker part of their annual holiday tradition, so we incorporate original elements every year to offer audiences something new,” Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling said.

Vasterling introduces new magic tricks from the Uncle Drosselmeyer character this year, designed by nationally regarded illusionist Drew Thomas. 

Vasterling’s updated version debuted with original concept and choreography as Nashville’s Nutcracker in 2008. The production celebrates Nashville’s rich history and personality, complete with characters inspired by well-known local residents, such as President Andrew Jackson, former Vanderbilt University Chancellor James Kirkland and the actress Lucille La Verne, a Nashville native who provided the voice of the witch in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Along with 22 members of the professional company and 25 members of the second company, the performance will include 150 young dancers from the School of Nashville Ballet and the community at large. 

“Dancing in a version of the Nutcracker is the first professional performance experience for most dancers, so our goal is to extend that opportunity to as many aspiring dancers as possible,” Director of Artistic Operations Sharyn Mahoney said. “Even those who have been dancing for years remember the excitement of their first Nutcracker performance.”

Members of the youth cast come from 11 Middle Tennessee counties including Davidson, Sumner, Wilson, Rutherford, Bedford, Maury, Williamson, Dickson, Cheatham, Montgomery and Robertson, as well as Kentucky.

Two casts of young dancers will alternate performances to tell the story of young Clara’s magical journey, which starts at the 1897 Centennial Exposition in Nashville where she meets an exotic cast of characters from far-away lands displaying their native wares. It is there that her magical Uncle Drosselmeyer promises her a very special gift—a wooden Nutcracker.

After Clara receives her special gift, she falls asleep and the Nutcracker comes to life to guide her through a fantastic dream. They visit a series of magical worlds and encounter an array of diverse characters she previously saw at the Centennial Exposition, in addition to the Snow Queen and King and the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.

Nashville’s Nutcracker will be held at TPAC’s Jackson Hall for 10 performances:

Friday, December 9 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 10 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Sunday, December 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Friday, December 16 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Sunday, December 18 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Photo by Margo Amala on Unsplash

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