50th year of New Jersey Ballet Company’s ‘The Nutcracker’ canceled by pandemic
s “Sometimes I even forget that the audience is there when I’m just really dancing the role,” says dancer Ava Sutter.
Sutter portrays the lead character of Clara in the ballet.
“Every year it brings me so much joy in the Christmas season. I get to have my family come, friends,” she says.
This would have been the 50th consecutive performance of “The Nutcracker” by the New Jersey Ballet Company.
Paul McRae danced in this very first production at age 14 as a humble mouse. He then went on to play many characters, including just last year the role of Drosselmeyer.
“We have grandparents coming back who used to dance in the production and they’re bringing their grandchildren now,” he says.
While it cannot welcome live audiences because of the pandemic, the nonprofit professional ballet company and school is bringing some of “The Nutcracker” home, by launching a five-part series online called “How the Magic is Made.” It is an inside look at the production’s history.
David Tamaki danced his first Nutcracker at age 5 with New Jersey Ballet company, where he still works, today.
“We are now able to share rarely-seen footage going back throughout the 50 years of the production, sharing behind the scenes footage, as well as stories,” he says.
The company says that it hopes that the series will bring some holiday cheer to audiences until the ballet can be performed live once again.