Downtown Brooklyn

‘Tis The Season To See “The Nutcracker” At BAM

November 26, 2012 Editorial Staff
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With only a few more days left in November and the holidays approaching so rapidly, families with children have started planning their upcoming holiday outings. What better way to welcome the season than by going to see “The Nutcracker,” an enchanted Christmas tale that welcomes adults and children of all ages to experience the magic of classical ballet.

For the third year, the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) will be giving performances of the Yuletide classic at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Howard Gilman Opera House at the Peter Jay Sharp building, located at 30 Lafayette Avenue.

Clara admires her Nutcracker doll.

From December 7, the family-friendly show about a little girl, Clara, who falls asleep on Christmas Eve and dreams of life-sized dolls coming to life and dancing in the arms of her Nutcracker prince, will be on the spotlight.

Choreographed by world-wide known ABT Artist-in-Residence Alexei Ratmansky, 12 performances will be danced at BAM through December 16.

“We want to emphasize that it has all the traditional dances (Russian, Arabic, Chinese) that audiences have come to expect, with a few modern twists,” said Kelly Ryan, a spokesperson for the American Ballet Theater.

“As the joyous celebration and magic kingdom fade, Clara finds herself alone in her room on Christmas morning, wondering was this all a dream?”  Ryan added.

The dance of the bees and the flowers.

Some of the twists of this production include that the “snowflakes are mean because they’re cold,” Ryan explained, and the “bees dancing with the flowers, following the traditional music.”  The Sugar Plum Fairy is also more like a nanny, in this version.

Ratmansky’s production premiered in 2010 at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House on December 23, and “it’s been highly acclaimed,” since then, said Ryan.

The children featured in the show are from the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at ABT. Young Clara and the Nutcracker boy are performed by students of the school; but, the main company dancers that portray the Nutcracker Prince and the grown-up Clara are James Whiteside, who is performing for the first time with ABT, and Paloma Herrera.

“The choreography of Clara and the Prince (for example) is extremely challenging,” added Ryan. “That’s something that audiences should look for.”

Ticket prices begin at $25; they can be purchased in person at the BAM box office, by phone 718-636-4100, or online at

If you would like to know more, visit ABT’s website at

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