Peery’s Egyptian Theater will host productions of The Nutcracker by Julie Moffitt Ballet School and Imagine Ballet Theater during the weekends leading up to Christmas.
Julie Moffitt Ballet School will perform from Dec. 3 to Dec. 5, and Imagine Ballet Theater will perform Dec. 11, Dec. 12, Dec. 18 and Dec. 19.
Given COVID-19 restrictions, attendees must wear masks, and there will be a reduction in available seating to maintain social distancing.
The dancers have also taken safety precautions during practice to make sure the virus does not spread. At both studios, the dancers wear masks while practicing, regularly take their temperatures and sanitize their practicing space.
“I’ve never seen [the students] work so hard and just want something so badly,” said Julie Moffitt, director and artistic director of Julie Moffitt Ballet School. “The dancing and the skills are gonna be as great as any other year. This is just what they needed.”
The dancers at Julie Moffitt Ballet School will not wear masks while performing but will wear them any time off stage. They will also take extra precautions to stay safe, similar to those they take during practice.
On the other hand, Imagine Ballet Theater will be wearing masks designed to match their outfits during their performances. In addition, artistic director Raymond Van Mason re-choreographed the performance to make sure the only dancers touching each other are those who live together.
“It’s been interesting experimenting with my movement and seeing how to connect with [Eliza Udy, playing the role of Clara] without actually touching her,” said Matthew Rees, who will play the Nutcracker Prince.
In the past, Imagine Ballet Theater would bring in some students from public schools to see their show, but they will not be able to do the same this year. To make up for this, they will be live streaming the second act of their Nutcracker performances to those same public schools.
A reduction in seating means there will also be a reduction in ticket sales.
“[For] all ballet companies, The Nutcracker is the best money maker and pulls them through the rest of the year,” Moffitt said.
Julie Moffitt Ballet School is currently running an online boutique where they are selling show merchandise in addition to selling merchandise at the event. People who buy online will be able to pick up their order at the venue.
More information about performance times and tickets can be found at Peery’s Egyptian Theater’s website.
The Nutcracker, by E. T. A. Hoffmann, is a story that follows a young girl, Clara, and her adventure in defeating the Mouse King with the Nutcracker Prince. It was later written as a ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and today remains a popular Christmas story and tradition.