BalletMet’s new production of The Nutcracker opens tonight at Columbus’s Ohio Theatre.
Performances of The Nutcracker run through December 23.
The new production, which the company describes as “traditional” and “lighthearted,” was created by BalletMet’s artistic director Gerard Charles, in collaboration with Columbus theater artist Robert Post.
New elements added to the classic Christmas ballet include a narrator telling E. T. A. Hoffman’s original story, two gymnasts among the cast of dancers, and new sets by Dan Gray. The Christmas tree that grows onstage, a popular part of the production, has not been changed.
Tchaikovsky’s score is performed by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, with the Columbus Children’s Choir participating in the “Dance of the Snowflakes.”
Charles, who trained at London’s Royal Ballet School, has collaborated twice before on ballets with Post, on Coppélia in 2001, and on Cinderella in 2002. He also choreographed The Sleeping Beauty for BalletMet in 2000.
Post, born and raised in Columbus, is known for his one-man show The POSTman, which he performed to sold-out houses at New York’s New Victory Theater in 2001. He has created more than 30 works, and tours extensively.
BalletMet was founded in 1978, and tours nationally and internationally. The company’s New York debut in spring 2004 at the Joyce Theatre drew positive reviews, and the company returned to New York for the Evening Stars Festival earlier this fall.
BalletMet dancer Adrienne Benz with Matthew Geiger in The Nutcracker