‘The Nutcracker’ goes virtual

The Grand Rapids Ballet performs "The Nutcracker." Courtesy Ray Nard Imagemaker

The Grand Rapids Ballet’s traditional holiday performance of “The Nutcracker” will return to the stage virtually this season due to COVID-19-related safety concerns.

Viewers will be immersed in a prerecorded artistic performance that combines ballet with cinematic elements for a reimagined version of “The Nutcracker” fit for audiences’ screens at home.

“Each program will be filmed on stage at the Peter Martin Wege Theatre with costumes and lighting, and then edited together in a video presentation that emulates the live experience of attending the Grand Rapids Ballet, including pre-show talks with the creative artists and other behind-the-scenes content for our subscribers,” said James Sofranko, Grand Rapids Ballet artistic director.

This is the first time audiences will experience “The Nutcracker” virtually; however, the company feels it is important to carry on the tradition despite the circumstances.
“‘The Nutcracker’ is such an important part of so many families’ holidays and it just wouldn’t be the same without it. This is also true for the dancers; most of us have performed every year in a version of the ballet since childhood,” Sofranko said.

Viewers will be able to access the program for 36 hours after the time of purchase and it can be watched as many times as the viewer likes during that period. Ticket cost and availability can be found at the Grand Rapids Ballet website.

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