Ask any Omahan to recall their first live theater experience and most will cite The Nutcracker at the Orpheum Theater
. Over the years, several local dance companies, including the now-defunct Ballet Omaha and Omaha Theater Ballet, each took turns presenting an annual production of Tchaikovsky’s ballet. Omaha Performing Arts stepped in to present the holiday show in 2010, when it welcomed Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
for the first time.
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will perform their innovative production of The Nutcracker
at the Orpheum for a third year this December. The production includes more than 60 young, local performers alongside a large cast of professional dancers. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s Executive Director Jean-Phillipe Malaty visited Omaha in September to conduct the auditions.
“It’s not often that a young dancer gets to be in a professional production,” Tom Mossbrucker, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s Artistic Director, told KVNO in 2011. “[They] get to dance alongside professional dancers and see the way they conduct themselves backstage.”
The ballet tells the story of a young girl named Clara, her Uncle Drosselmeyer, a Christmas party and a dream that takes Clara to a magical land of sugarplum fairies, candy canes and handsome princes. The parts of soldiers, toys, candy canes and bumblebees are performed by local children. The young, local performers, who rehearse their parts with members of Ballet Nebraska, make the production more personal and memorable for the Omaha audience.
During the second act of The Nutcracker
, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet features a fanciful land of sweets, a giant carousel, performances from Russian dancers, an Arabian trapeze artist, candy canes and dew drops, among others. It's an innovative interpretation that resonates with children. The whole setting seems to come straight from a child’s wild imagination.
“It’s just very whimsical,” Mossbrucker said.
Experience a new take on The Nutcracker
from Aspen Santa Fe Ballet December 7-9 at the Orpheum Theater. For tickets, visit TicketOmaha.com
- The two-act Tchaikovsky ballet first premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia on Friday, December 18, 1892.
- The tradition of performing the complete ballet at Christmas began in the United States during the 1960s.
- The Nutcracker includes these common fairytale elements: royalty, magical elements, a conflict between good and bad, fantasy settings and a happy ending.