Festival Ballet Providence (FBP) presents "e;Nutcracker Sweets,"e; a brand-new filmed adaptation of the beloved holiday tradition, "The Nutcracker." The performance is being presented as a gift to the community, free to the public beginning on Dec. 31, just
Festival Ballet Providence (FBP) presents “Nutcracker Sweets,” a brand-new filmed adaptation of the beloved holiday tradition, “The Nutcracker.” The performance is being presented as a gift to the community, free to the public beginning on Dec. 31, just in time to close out 2020 and ring in new beginnings for 2021.
“Nutcracker Sweets” had been planned for performances on an outdoor stage in mid-December through a grant from Gov. Raimondo’s Take it Outside Initiative, but it was canceled due to the state’s increased public health restrictions. Executive Director Kathleen Breen Combes said, “After a full six weeks of rehearsal with the professional company, we decided to pull together a filmed version as a gift to the community who have stood by us throughout this entire process.”
The show is a condensed one-act version of the full production, reimagined by FBP’s Artistic Curator Yury Yanowsky as a magical and sweet treat for audiences of all ages. The story is told by the characters Drosselmeyer and his goddaughter Clara, as they meet the steadfast Nutcracker and the wicked Mouse King. In the enchanted Land of Sweets, they meet delectable dancing treats, and the magical Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. The ballet features some new costumes including inventive masks designed by Rhode Island’s own Big Nazo Lab for the Mouse King and The Nutcracker. Filming led by director Shaun Clarketook place at the Gamm Theater, which offered their facility as the ideal space for filming.
The professional company dancers continued to rehearse after the cancellation under rigorous health and safety procedures; however, the dozens of children in the cast were unable to make it to the stage due to public health restrictions. “Children are at the heart of the Nutcracker story, and I can’t wait for the day when we can see them back on stage in this imaginative production,” Yanowsky said. “I’m so proud of all of the children for their hard work throughout this process.”
“Faced with the prospect of doing no Nutcracker at all or making a show like this work, we felt we had to rise to the occasion,” Breen Combes said, adding, “We are so grateful for the kick start the governor’s campaign provided, which allowed us to bring back the company dancers on contract and also pivot to filming when in person performances were cancelled. We are hoping to give our audience a magical escape amidst a truly unprecedented time.”
Information and free registration for access to “Nutcracker Sweets” can be found at festivalballetprovidence.org or by calling 401-353-1129.
Festival Ballet Providence, Rhode Island’s premiere ballet company and New England’s second-largest ballet company, delights audiences with a diverse repertoire of classical, neo-classical, and contemporary dance. Founded in 1978 and in its 43rd season, the company enriches the lives of its audiences, inspiring the community by presenting world-class dance. The company typically performs in three venues in Providence throughout its September-May season. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in its 43rd season the company is undertaking specific, project-based performance opportunities including virtual and socially distanced in person events for audiences and students, understanding its mission of bringing the transformative power of dance to lift up the community has never been more important.