Orlando Ballet closing curtain on 'The Nutcracker' classic, adding cirque element - WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando
Orlando Ballet artistic director shares vision for future of 'Nutcracker' with reimagined performance.

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Crystal Moyer

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Orlando Ballet is closing the curtain on a holiday classic and making room for a new experience as it celebrates 50 years of dance education.

“I don’t know if it’d be Christmas time without “The Nutcracker.” It’s a big part of our holiday tradition in the dance world and certainly in Orlando” associate artistic director Lisa Thorn Vin Zant said.

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More than 150 students and professionals with the Orlando Ballet are gearing up for their final performances of “The Nutcracker” after months of preparation, practices and weeks of jam-packed production.

“With the busy production schedule, sometimes there’s four or five people who perform the same role and we try to rotate them in and out so it becomes a bit of a logistical challenge, but at the end of the day we try to give everybody the opportunity to shine,” Orlando Ballet artistic director Jorden Morris said.

And it gives audiences a final opportunity to take in the holiday tradition.

“This production was bought already used from the Hong Kong ballet. The sets are over 30 years old, they are literally starting to fall apart along with the costumes,” Morris said.

While dancers will take to the stage with this production for the final time, Morris said “The Nutcracker” performance isn’t going away, just being reimagined with a brand new show.

“I’ve been formulating what would be really unique for Orlando and it would be a gift to our community with a new Nutcracker,” Morris said. “There’s going to be some cirque elements to the show. I’m incorporating animatronic puppets for the kids to enjoy.”

The new production will also have a focus on history and culture using artistic details.

“Much more honoring of the art of the culture. For example, what has been known as the ‘Chinese Dance.’ This go around the dancer would be a heron and have a feathered costume and be in front of a gorgeous reproduction of a Chinese silk. It will better reflect the culture and better represent the score,” executive director Cheryl Collins said.

Orlando Ballet is Central Florida’s only fully residential professional ballet company putting on productions year-round at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando. In 2023, the company will celebrate 50 years of promoting dance education through community programs and the Orlando Ballet School.

The Orlando Ballet will have Nutcracker performances through Sunday, Dec. 18. Click here for ticket and show details.

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