Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker Returns to the Fox Theatre for its 55th Season featuring the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and Georgia Youth Choir for all performances.
The tradition. The magic. The story.
Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker began it’s annual run at the Fox Theatre on Thursday. December 11 with an opening night performance to remember.
Set in the elaborate Moorish décor of the historic Fox Theatre in Midtown, this unique production of the Nutcracker takes 20 pounds of snow, eight tons of scenery, lighting, and props, and a 38-foot-tall Christmas tree to make the magic of Marya’s unbelievable story come to life.
Now in its 55th production, Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker continues to be a popular holiday tradition shared by multiple generations. Each year, Atlanta Ballet invites more than 200 Atlanta area school children to perform alongside 23 professional company members and four company apprentices in this holiday celebration.
Atlanta Ballet first brought Nutcracker to the stage in 1959, performing George Balanchine’s version of the timeless tale. In that year, Atlanta Ballet was the only company outside of New York City Ballet allowed to perform this signature piece thanks to Atlanta Ballet’s then Associate Artistic Director Robert Barnett, who had danced with Balanchine at New York City Ballet.
“We gave it as a gift,” says Barnett, “inviting children from all counties to come in and see the performance. It was a gift from Mr. Balanchine, and he never charged us a cent for doing it.” From that day forward, Nutcracker has been an annual event in Atlanta.
In 1995, Atlanta Ballet’s third and current artistic director, John McFall, created a brand new Nutcracker for the city of Atlanta. McFall’s vision was to create a Nutcracker that was “traditional yet new, familiar yet different, classic yet contemporary and above all, magical.”
Every year since then McFall has added a special touch to the production in an effort to keep it vibrant and fresh.
“For five decades now, Atlanta Ballet has been presenting Nutcracker, and we’ve become a holiday tradition for many families in Atlanta,” said McFall.
The performance is about two hours with a short intermission in the middle. The Fox is decorated beautifully for the holidays. The costumes worn by the performers and the sets are exquisite.
It’s a fast moving performance with a lot of talent on display. Groups, couples and families once again have the opportunity to enjoy the Nutcracker in Atlanta. The live choir and live orchestra make the performance something special. Don’t miss your chance.
Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker runs for 20 performances Dec. 11 – 28 at the Fox Theatre. Tickets start as low as $20 and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 855-ATL-TIXX, in person at the Fox Theatre Box Office and the Atlanta Ballet Box Office, or online at www.atlantaballet.com.
For groups of ten or more, call Atlanta Ballet Group Sales at 404-873-5811, ext. 207.
Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker
1. 23 professional company members and 4 apprentices perform with more than 200 Atlanta area school children during the 3-week, 20-performance run of Nutcracker
2. For 55 years Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker has been a family tradition
3. Atlanta Ballet premiered George Balanchine’s Nutcracker – second act only – in April of 1959, not December, making it one of the first companies in the U.S. to perform what would soon become a holiday classic.
4. More than 8 tons of scenery, lighting, and props are used in each
5. 300,000 watts of electricity are used during each performance of
Nutcracker, more than enough to light a stadium
6. 20 pounds of snow fall during each performance
7. Atlanta Ballet’s female dancers wear out more than
2,000 pairs of pointe shoes each season
8. More than 2,000 hours are needed to prepare the costumes for opening night of Nutcracker. Preparation begins in early August and goes through November to ensure every detail is in place for opening night in early December
9. Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker is the only version in the metro area performed with live orchestra and choir