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Pliés and Popcorn: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Movies

Scene from Balanchine's The Nutcracker, photo culled from the New York City Ballet website.

Even if you don’t live in New York City, you and your family can experience one of the city’s quintessential holiday traditions this year. On December 13 at 6 pm ET, George Balanchine’s renowned ballet The Nutcracker–as performed live by the New York City Ballet–will be presented in movie theaters throughout the country. The cast for this special performance includes Principal Dancers Megan Fairchild as Sugarplum, Tiler Peck as Marzipan, Joaquin de Luz as Cavalier, Ashley Bouder as Dewdrop, Teresa Reichlen as Coffee, and Daniel Ulbricht as Candy Cane.

Bolstered by Tchaikovsky’s resplendent score, The Nutcracker is one of Balanchine’s most enduring choreographic works. Having danced the role of the Prince at the age of 15, Balanchine premiered his version of the ballet on February 2, 1954 in New York City. The company performs the work more than 40 times annually.

This movie theater presentation of The Nutcracker is characteristic of many arts organizations’ recent attempts to make their performances more accessible to the public. One prominent example is the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series of movie theater transmissions–winner of Peabody and Emmy awards–now in its sixth season.

For additional information, including a complete list of participating movie theaters, visit here.