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The Washington Ballet Pays Homage to a Holiday Tradition in The Nutcracker


The Washington Ballet Pays Homage to a Holiday Tradition in The Nutcracker

Washington Ballet 75th season delivers the best of classical and contemporary works

For over 75 years, the Washington Ballet has delighted dance lovers from all over the world. Known for its world-class performances, iconic choreography, and firm embrace of diversity in the world of dance.

Founded in 1944 by dance legend Mary Day, the school and dance company were created with the mission of “creating a stellar institution of teaching, creating, and enlightenment through dance.”

Subsequently, later directors built on Day’s mission to create a dance empire that has garnered international acclaim. By the 1980s, the company’s talented troupe of dancers was performing full seasons in Washington, DC, as well as appearing in special engagements in Asia, Europe, and South America.

Today, Artistic Director Julie Kent and her team work together with the dancers. In short “to expand and broaden the company repertoire and expand the Washington Ballet’s reach within the community to lead it into a more prominent position both within and beyond the nation’s capital.” 

Ballet is near to Kent’s heart. For example, she holds the title of “longest-serving dancer” at the American Ballet Theatre and devotes herself to using her experience as a foundation to develop the next generation of dancers at the Washington Ballet.

The Nutcracker provides a stage for dancers’ ‘artistic milestones’

The 2019-2020 season showcases the diversity and skill of the company with performances that feature music and choreography from multiple composers, genres, and eras. Moreover, one of the most beloved productions of all time, The Nutcracker, runs through the end of December, with special events and activities for all ages.

There’s no better place than Washington, DC, to see a performance of The Nutcracker—except for perhaps in St. Petersburg, Russia. In other words, where the ballet was first performed in on Dec. 18, 1892. The performance is set in historic 1882 Georgetown with George Washington, King George III, and other historical figures.

Washington Ballet The Nutcracker
Washington Ballet presents The Nutcracker, with more than 40 performances through Dec. 29. (Theo Kossenas/media4artists/Courtesy of the Washington Ballet)

Set to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s famous musical score, the production will feature more than 100 dancers in period costumes over its 40 performances this season.

Furthermore, upcoming events include a Nutcracker Tea Party, where guests can enjoy tea with members of the company. Moreover, adults and children alike can pose for photos with the Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen while sipping on classic holiday beverages and enjoying a sweet treat or two.

Tickets to the tea party include a performance of The Nutcracker, a favorite holiday tradition for residents of the DC area and beyond.

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A unique production

Kent says of the production, “The Washington Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker is a charming iteration of the holiday classic. In addition, the tone and ambiance of the Warner Theatre and Tchaikovsky’s iconic score contribute to the holiday spirit, and it is a pleasure to see how the performance touches our audience.”

She praises the skill and artistry of the company, saying, “The Nutcracker provides wonderful artistic milestones for our dancers as they move through the ranks and grow artistically and technically over the years. Subsequently, it is a joy to see the whole school represented with the company and to get to see the full spectrum of The Washington Ballet onstage.”

Experience the magic of the Washington Ballet yourself

Tickets are on sale now for the 2019-2020 season, featuring the following performances:

  • The Nutcracker: Runs through Dec. 29
  • Balanchine + Ashton: From a lively and jazzy Broadway production to divine elegance, witness bellwether ballets by 20th century dance titans George Balanchine and Sir Frederick Ashton. Performances run Feb. 19-23, 2020.
  • Swan Lake: Enter into a world of true love and tragic romance in this classical masterpiece, with The Washington Ballet’s dancers moving in marvelous concord to the incomparable score of Tchaikovsky. Performances run April 9-19.
  • Coppélia: Sometimes [literally] getting dolled up can save a life. For instance, Witness the famed story ballet of love, magic, and trickery in a fun and fanciful combination of wild events that will leave you delighted and charmed. Performances run May 13-17.

Season ticket holders will receive exclusive access to rehearsals and Q&A sessions with choreographers and the Washington Ballet artistic team. In addition, there are many other perks for a fully immersive experience.

Editor’s recommendation: Enjoy Tchaikovsky’s score from The Nutcracker while reading this and other articles from Artistic Fuel.

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