American Repertory Ballet's "Nutcracker"

Trenton War Memorial - Patriots Theater

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In a Nutshell

Tchaikovsky’s classic score twirls to life in a holiday classic which sees young Clara venture into a dreamland of snow and ice

The Fine Print

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The Deal

American Repertory Ballet’s “The Nutcracker”

Based on a novel by 19th-century romantic fabulist E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nutcracker weaves a magical tale of holiday adventure around one of the most recognizable scores in the ballet repertoire. It begins when young Clara receives a nutcracker from her godfather, a wizardly toymaker named Drosselmeyer. Sneaking downstairs to see the toy after everyone else has gone to bed, she suddenly finds herself caught in the middle of a pitched battle between the toys and an army of mice. After saving the nutcracker with a well-thrown shoe to the Mouse King’s head, Clara and her now-living prince venture into the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets to celebrate.

But not all Nutcrackers are created equal, and American Repertory Ballet’s version comes with its own celebration. Company founder Audrée Estey created a lively party scene that’s unique to ARB’s annual production—a joyous affair that perfectly sets the stage for the festive journey into the Land of Sweets. It’s not the production’s only unique feature either: designer Carl Sprague’s growing Christmas tree ascends toward the ceiling like a very slow-moving rocket, and Gina Ricca’s costumes—most notably a giant Nutcracker mask—create the illusion of having walked into a dream.

American Repertory Ballet

“This talented company is a gem in New Jersey," declared Broadway World's Marina Kennedy. It would seem the residents of the Garden State agree—American Repertory Ballet was crowned Favorite Dance Company three separate times by the Jersey Arts People's Choice Awards. Its journey to this distinction began in 1963 when Audrée Estey, the founder of Princeton Ballet School, created Princeton Regional Ballet Company as the professional arm of the institution. By the time its name changed to the current incarnation, the Ballet had already been showcasing an array of both classic and contemporary masterpieces by Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp, and Dominique Dumais. It's continued to celebrate the art of the dance and test tippytoes to their limit via original productions, tours to Portugal, and traditions such as its annual staging of Nutcracker, an ARB fixture since 1964.

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    Trenton War Memorial - Patriots Theater

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