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BRING THE NUTCRACKER HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

Support Ballet Austin and bring your favorite holiday tradition, THE NUTCRACKER, “home for the holidays” this December through a
multi-day, multi-media celebration you can enjoy from anywhere!

Claim your “key” to unlock the fun from the comfort of home and look forward to fresh content delivered daily, including…

  • On-demand access to THE NUTCRACKER digital film, a vibrant, feature-length presentation of Artistic Director Stephen Mills’ THE NUTCRACKER;
  • Bonus material, cast and crew interviews, and behind-the-scenes featurettes;
  • Holiday recipes and decorating ideas, health and wellness tips;
  • On-demand, holiday-themed dance lessons, and live-streamed dance & fitness classes; and
  • Family-friendly contests and games, Nutcracker traditions, and more!

Support Ballet Austin and Keep Your NUTCRACKER Tradition Going!

Over the past 58 years, two million Central Texans have made Ballet Austin’s THE NUTCRACKER part of their annual holiday tradition. It’s an honor to share this special time of year with you and those you love! Our ongoing commitment to health and well-being during the current health crisis keeps us from gathering for in-person performances of THE NUTCRACKER. Thanks to technology and our team of innovative artists, creatives, and supporters like YOU, we will celebrate THE NUTCRACKER together with you this season, by bringing the magic of the world’s most-loved ballet into your home!

ACCESS NUTCRACKER-RELATED CONTENT WITH AN INTERNET-CONNECTED SCREEN OR VIDEO VIEWING DEVICE.
Ballet Austin supporters will receive access to a WEB PORTAL PAGE containing all video-on-demand content,
including a VIDEO PLAYER housing THE NUTCRACKER digital film, along with daily programming information.
Links to THE NUTCRACKER web portal page with video player will be delivered via email beginning Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, at 10 a.m. CT.

Season ticket holders with tickets to Ballet Austin’s original 2020 Nutcracker stage production receive complimentary *Golden Key* Exclusive Access. Contact Audience Services weekdays from noon to 5 p.m. CT at 512.476.2163 or boxoffice@balletaustin.org to claim your Golden Key!

Nutcracker *Golden Key* Exclusive Access: Click the Tabs to see Daily Programming!

Let’s Party!

Enjoy on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film through Jan. 1, 2021.

Plus, with *GOLDEN KEY* EXCLUSIVE ACCESS experience this bonus material themed for the “Party Scene.”

 

ON-DEMAND ENTERTAINMENT:

  • “The Clara Diaries” – Hear from Ballet Austin Academy students about their Nutcracker experience, including the chance to star in the lead role of “Clara.”
  • “EAT WELL: Holiday Entertaining” –  Get recipes and tips on fun party food to serve your guests while staying healthy and safe at home
  • “BE ACTIVE: The Hip Hop Nutcracker” – Learn moves and grooves themed for the holidays with Hip Hop instructor Dereke Thompson

 

VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES:

  • BA LIVE! / Dance & Fitness Classes – Sample live-streamed dance and fitness offerings from the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Rats!

Enjoy on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film through Jan. 1, 2021.

Plus, with *GOLDEN KEY* EXCLUSIVE ACCESS experience this bonus content themed for the “Rats Fight Scene.”

 

ON-DEMAND ENTERTAINMENT:

  • “While the Staff’s Away, the Rats Will Play…” – See what’s been going on at the Ballet Austin studios while dancers and staff have been working remotely, allowing some dastardly critters free run of the office…
  • “BE CREATIVE: Fight Scene Choreography” –  Learn from pros about what it takes to dance and “fight” at the same time.
  • “BE ACTIVE: Dance Like a Rat” – When the lights go down, these giant rodents show up…and boogie down! Learn fun dance steps performed by the Rats in THE NUTCRACKER.

 

VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES:

  • BA LIVE! / Dance & Fitness Classes – Sample live-streamed dance and fitness offerings from the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Let It Snow!

Enjoy on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film through Jan. 1, 2021.

Plus, with *GOLDEN KEY* EXCLUSIVE ACCESS experience this bonus content themed for the “Snow Scene.”

 

ON-DEMAND ENTERTAINMENT:

  • “Band of Sisters: The Snow Corps” – Their signature swirls are the backbone of Nutcracker magic! Hear from female dancers who perform the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” about the challenges and rewards of dancing en masse in the corps de ballet.
  • “BE CURIOUS: How to Make It Snow on Stage” –  Learn special effects tricks of the trade from Ballet Austin’s production team.
  • “BE ACTIVE: Mat Pilates with the Snow Queen” – Ballet Austin dancer and certified Pilates instructor Elise Pekarek puts you through a workout fit for the “Snow Queen.”

 

VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES:

  • BA LIVE! / Dance & Fitness Classes – Sample live-streamed dance and fitness offerings from the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Get Your Chocolate Fix!

Enjoy on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film through Jan. 1, 2021.

Plus, with *GOLDEN KEY* EXCLUSIVE ACCESS experience this bonus content themed for the “Chocolate Dance.”

 

ON-DEMAND ENTERTAINMENT:

  • “Nutcracker Traditions & Superstitions” – Ballet Austin dancers and Nutcracker cast members dish on the traditions and superstitions that make THE NUTCRACKER an unforgettable experience.
  • “EAT WELL: Holiday Chocolate Recipes” –  Get your chocolate fix with holiday recipes from our friends at H-E-B, the underwriter of THE NUTCRACKER: Home for the Holidays.
  • “BE ACTIVE: Beginning Ballet” – Have you always wanted to try ballet? Ballet Austin dancer Max Azaro leads you through a Beginning Ballet class.

 

VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES:

  • BA LIVE! / Dance & Fitness Classes – Sample live-streamed dance and fitness offerings from the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Your Mid-Week Coffee Klatch…

Enjoy on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film through Jan. 1, 2021.

Plus, with *GOLDEN KEY* EXCLUSIVE ACCESS experience this bonus content themed for the “Coffee Dance.”

 

ON-DEMAND ENTERTAINMENT:

  • “Ask A Dancer Q&A” – Put your burning questions to company dancers Courtney Holland and Kevin Murdock-Waters. What’s their favorite part to dance? How do you stay in shape during quarantine? You ask, and they’ll answer!
  • “BE CURIOUS: Pointe Shoe Prep” –  One of the true wonders of the world is the science (and art) behind the construction and preparation of a ballet dancer’s pointe shoes. Ballet Austin dancers Elise Pekarek and Chelsea Marie Renner share their process for getting pointe shoes ready for studio and stage.
  • “BE ACTIVE: Modern/Contemporary” – THE NUTCRACKER’s “Coffee Dance” features more contemporary ballet movement styles. Get a taste of this type of choreography with dance instructor Mia Moi.
  • “BE ACTIVE: Active Aging Workout” – Butler Center for Dance & Fitness Director Vicki Parsons offers a special workout for seniors looking to stay fit.

 

VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES:

  • BA LIVE! / Dance & Fitness Classes – Sample live-streamed dance and fitness offerings from the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Time for Holiday Cardio!

Enjoy on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film through Jan. 2, 2021.

Plus, with *GOLDEN KEY* EXCLUSIVE ACCESS experience this bonus content themed for the “Trepak Dance.”

 

ON-DEMAND ENTERTAINMENT:

  • “Dancer Cross Training” – Get tips from Ballet Austin’s male dancers about ways to stay flexible and strong for performing and “partnering” other dancers.
  • “BE WELL: Holiday Survival Guide” –  Butler Center for Dance & Fitness Director Vicki Parsons shares ways to survive and thrive during the holidays.
  • “BE ACTIVE: HIIT Cardio Workout” – Dance and fitness instructor Jenny Alperin gets your heart rate up through this energetic workout.

 

VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES:

  • BA LIVE! / Dance & Fitness Classes – Sample live-streamed dance and fitness offerings from the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Feel the Sugar Rush!

Enjoy on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film through Jan. 1, 2021.

Plus, with *GOLDEN KEY* EXCLUSIVE ACCESS experience this bonus content themed for “Mother Ginger and the BonBons.”

 

ON-DEMAND ENTERTAINMENT:

  • “Backstage at THE NUTCRACKER” – Approximately 140 Ballet Austin Academy students perform in the annual stage production of THE NUTCRACKER. Go behind-the-scenes and see what it takes to get them ready to take the stage.
  • “EAT WELL: Kid-Friendly Holiday Treats” –  Looking for simple desserts you can make and enjoy your kiddos? Our friends at H-E-B show you how to turn family time into something sweet!
  • “BE ACTIVE: Bon Bon Dance Party” – They’re tiny, tireless, and hiding under Mother Ginger’s skirt!  Ballet Austin II Ballet Master Alexa Capareda teaches excerpts from THE NUTCRACKER’s famous BonBon children’s dance…the perfect way to burn through a sugar rush before nap time!

 

VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES:

  • BA LIVE! / Dance & Fitness Classes – Sample live-streamed dance and fitness offerings from the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Flower Power!

Enjoy on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film through Jan. 2, 2021.

Plus, with *GOLDEN KEY* EXCLUSIVE ACCESS experience this bonus content themed for the “Waltz of the Flowers.”

 

ON-DEMAND ENTERTAINMENT:

  • “Dancer Demos: Stage Hair & Make-up” – How do you form the perfect “ballet bun”? What’s the best way to keep your headpiece from flying off during turns? Do false eyelashes really make a difference? Veteran dancers Brittany Strickland and Jaime Lynn Witts share their secrets.
  • “BE CREATIVE: Holiday Floral Design” –  Get DIY tips for designing beautiful holiday floral decorations for your home from our friends in the H-E-B Floral Department.
  • “BE ACTIVE: Nutcracker Variations – Waltz of the Flowers” – Learn choreography from this show-stopping scene from Ballet Austin dancer and Flower Soloist Courtney Holland.


VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES:

  • BA LIVE! / Dance & Fitness Classes – Sample live-streamed dance and fitness offerings from the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.
  • BA LIVE! / Living Room Dance Party (6-10 P.M. CT) – Boogie down for a good cause from the comfort of your living room with one of Austin’s favorite entertainers, DJ Mel!

Visions of Sugar Plum…

Enjoy on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film through Jan. 2, 2021.

Plus, with *GOLDEN KEY* EXCLUSIVE ACCESS experience this bonus content themed for the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

 

ON-DEMAND EXPERIENCES:

  • “Nutcracker Alumni Reflections” – Revisit favorite Nutcracker memories with famous faces from past performances while hearing from Ballet Austin alumni dancers.
  • “BE CURIOUS: Costume Care” –  Take a trip inside Ballet Austin’s wardrobe department and learn the secret to keeping more than 100 Nutcracker costumes ship shape and ready for the show.
  • “BE ACTIVE: Nutcracker Variations – Waltz of the Sugar Plum Fairy” – Learn choreography from one of THE NUTCRACKER’S most-famous scenes, taught by Ballet Austin’s Sugar Plum Fairy, Jaime Lynn Witts.
  • “BE ACTIVE: All I Want for Christmas VideoDance™” – Get in the holiday spirit by learning this fan favorite from dance instructor Jenny Alperin, set to Mariah Carey’s smash holiday hit.

 

VIRTUAL EXPERIENCES:

  • BA LIVE! / Dance & Fitness Classes – Sample live-streamed dance and fitness offerings from the Butler Center for Dance & Fitness.

Happy Holidays!

With *GOLDEN KEY EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, enjoy on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film, plus all bonus on-demand entertainment, through New Year’s Day, Friday, Jan. 1, 2021.

Access THE NUTCRACKER: Home for the Holidays with a tax-deductible donation to Ballet Austin that’s

LESS THAN THE COST OF  TWO (2) AVERAGE SHOW TICKETS.

Consider the options below and select the one that’s right for you!

THE NUTCRACKER
*Golden Key* Exclusive Access:

$100 DONATION

3-week, on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film – Dec. 12, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2021

PLUS, THESE BENEFITS
Bonus material, cast and crew interviews, and behind-the-scenes featurettes
Holiday recipes and decorating ideas, health and wellness tips
On-demand, holiday-themed dance lessons, and live-streamed dance & fitness classes
Family-friendly contests and games, Nutcracker traditions, and more!

THE NUTCRACKER
*Golden Key* VIP Exclusive Access:

$250 DONATION

3-week, on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film – Dec. 12, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2021

One (1) extra *Golden Key* Exclusive Access pass to share or gift

PLUS THESE BENEFITS
Bonus material, cast and crew interviews, and behind-the-scenes featurettes
Holiday recipes and decorating ideas, health and wellness tips
On-demand, holiday-themed dance lessons, and live-streamed dance & fitness classes
Family-friendly contests and games, Nutcracker traditions, and more!

THE NUTCRACKER
*Golden Key* VIP Exclusive Access:

$500 DONATION

3-week, on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film – Dec. 12, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2021
Two (2) extra *Golden Key* Exclusive Access passes to share or gift
Receive Nutcracker “Goody Bag” at Ballet Austin on Dec. 19 and see Nutcracker characters in costume

Ballet Austin logo face mask

PLUS, THESE BENEFITS
Bonus material, cast and crew interviews, and behind-the-scenes featurettes
Holiday recipes and decorating ideas, health and wellness tips
On-demand, holiday-themed dance lessons, and live-streamed dance & fitness classes
Family-friendly contests and games, Nutcracker traditions, and more!

THE NUTCRACKER
Digital Film Access Only:

$30 DONATION

9-day, on-demand viewing of THE NUTCRACKER digital film – Dec. 12-20, 2020

Give THE NUTCRACKER as a gift to others!

 

Your Donation Keeps Us Moving!

Tax-deductible donations made in connection with THE NUTCRACKER: Home for the Holidays support Ballet Austin’s YOU KEEP US MOVING recovery campaign, with the goal of helping our nonprofit arts organization recover financially from the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Help us come back to the stage and keep your Nutcracker tradition going strong for generations to come!

New CARES Act Tax Benefit

The CARES Act, passed by Congress to help with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,
allows you to deduct up to $300 per individual and $600 per couple in charitable giving this year,
even if you don’t itemize.  Learn more here.

Stephen Mills' THE NUTCRACKER - Photos by Anne Marie Bloodgood

Meet the Creative Team Behind THE NUTCRACKER

STEPHEN MILLS
Choreography

PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Music

TONY TUCCI
Lighting Design

JUDANNA LYNN
Costume Design

HOLLY HIGHFILL
Scenic Set Design

BALLET AUSTIN DANCERS
The Cast

Click the Tabs Below for Background Info

Known for his innovative and collaborative choreographic projects, Stephen Mills has works in the repertoires of dance companies across the United States and around the world.

His international career began in 1998 after being chosen Prix d’Auteur at les Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris.  In his inaugural season as Artistic Director of Ballet Austin in 2000, Mills attracted national attention with Hamlet, hailed by Dance Magazine as “…sleek and sophisticated.”

Mills’ works showcased at The Kennedy Center include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, and performances at the Ballet Across America Festival in collaboration with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

In 2005 Mills developed a community-wide human rights collaborative dialogue culminating in his signature work Light/The Holocaust & Humanity Project for which he received the Audrey and Raymond Maislin Humanitarian Award from The Anti-Defamation League. Mills contributed a podcast about Light to the Voices on Anti-Semitism series at The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and was invited to speak about the work at The United Nations in 2014.  Light has been performed in five U.S. cities, in three cities in Israel, and was recently featured in an Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary, Sharing Light.

READ MORE…

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky is widely considered the most popular Russian composer in history. His work for ballet includes THE NUTCRACKER, THE SLEEPING BEAUTY, and SWAN LAKE.

Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840, in Kamsko-Votkinsk, Vyatka, Russia. He was the second eldest of his parents’ six surviving offspring. Tchaikovsky’s father, Ilya, worked as a mine inspector and metal works manager.

When he was 5 years old, Tchaikovsky began taking piano lessons. Although he displayed an early passion for music, his parents hoped that he would grow up to work in the civil service. At the age of 10, Tchaikovsky began attending the Imperial School of Jurisprudence, a boarding school in St. Petersburg. His mother, Alexandra, died of cholera in 1854, when he was 14 years old. In 1859, Tchaikovsky honored his parents’ wishes by taking up a bureau clerk post with the Ministry of Justice, a post he would hold for four years, during which time he became increasingly fascinated with music.

When he was 21, Tchaikovsky decided to take music lessons at the Russian Musical Society. A few months later, he enrolled at the newly founded St. Petersburg Conservatory, becoming one of the school’s first composition students. In addition to learning while at the conservatory, Tchaikovsky gave private lessons to other students. In 1863, he moved to Moscow, where he became a professor of harmony at the Moscow Conservatory.

Acclaim came readily for Tchaikovsky in 1875, with his composition Symphony No. 3 in D Major. At the end of that year, the composer embarked on a tour of Europe. In 1876, he completed the ballet SWAN LAKE as well as the fantasy FRANCESCA DA RIMINI. While the former has come to be one of the most frequently performed ballets of all time, Tchaikovsky again endured the ire of critics, who at its premiere panned it as too complex and too “noisy.”

Tchaikovsky resigned from the Moscow Conservatory in 1878 to focus his efforts entirely on composing. As a result, he spent the remainder of his career composing more prolifically than ever. His collective body of work constitutes 169 pieces, including symphonies, operas, ballets, concertos, cantatas, and songs. Among his most famed late works are the ballets THE SLEEPING BEAUTY (1890) and THE NUTCRACKER (1892).

He died in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Nov. 6, 1893.

Biographical excerpts courtesy of biography.com.

Residing in Austin, Tony Tucci has been resident lighting designer for Ballet Austin’s repertory for 30 years and also currently serves as resident lighting designer/director for Ben Stevenson’s Texas Ballet Theater and Bruce Wood Dance.

Tucci created the lighting designs for Bernstein’s Mass at the Long Center in June 2018. In September 2018, Tucci designed a new production of Cinderella, choreographed by Ben Stevenson for the National Ballet of China. Tucci and has created designs for national and international dance companies: Mejia International Ballet, Washington Ballet, Houston Dance Salad, Pittsburgh Ballet

Theatre, Colorado Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Cirque Ziva, the Golden Dragon Acrobats, National Ballet of Canada, Royal Danish Ballet, Winnipeg and Swedish Ballets, Hong Kong Ballet, Singapore Dance Theatre, Ballet Contemporaneo de Caracas, Christopher Bruce’s Kingdom- Geneva Ballet, Flemming Flindt’s Caroline Mathilde and Lucifer’s Daughter-Royal Danish Ballet.

Tucci has designed for musical theater, including Austin productions of Damn Yankees, Carousel, West Side Story, Annie, Gypsy, Jesus Christ Superstar, Music Man, Oklahoma, A Chorus Line, Carousel, and Sound of Music as well as Charles Duggan’s productions of Dames at Sea in San Francisco and at the Goodspeed Opera House.

For the 1996 Summer Olympics, Tucci designed for the Cultural Olympiad, showcasing national and international companies. He is the recipient of two Iden Payne Awards and Critics Table awards for lighting in Austin.

Judanna Lynn has designed costumes for most of the major dance companies in the United States, among them Ballet Austin, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Ballet West, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Met, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, Hartford Ballet, Hubbard Street, The Jose Limon Dance Co., Louisville Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and Washington Ballet.

Selected credits include the costumes for Ballet de Santiago’s Dracula; NYCB’s Seven Deadly Sins; Ballet Austin’s and Pennsylvania Ballet’s latest productions of The Nutcracker; Festival of the Lion King for the opening of Disney’s theme park in Hong Kong; Houston Ballet’s highly-acclaimed productions of Don Quixote, Dracula and Cleopatra; the musical Lyle for Charles Strouse; The Hartford State / Old Globe Theatre’s production of Tintypes; Once On This Island for the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis; and Hats! and Tin Pan Alley Rag for the Cleveland Playhouse.

Lynn formerly danced with San Francisco Opera Ballet and was a resident costume designer of The Juilliard School. She is also a painter whose work has been seen at the Rizzoli and Miniatura Galleries in New York City, the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Art, and in private collections.

Holly Highfill has designed and painted numerous sets for ballets, operas, and plays. She has designed sets for Ballet Austin, Baltimore Opera, Washington Summer Opera, Washington Ballet, Dayton Ballet, Peoria Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Ballet West, and Ballet Memphis among others.

In addition to her theatre work, Highfill has done several large museum projects, designing and painting murals and other artwork for the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Audubon Society’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and the Robinson Nature Center.

CLICK HERE to meet our professional company members.

THE NUTCRACKER: Home for the Holidays Sponsors

PRESENTING SPONSOR
UNDERWRITER
PRODUCTION SPONSOR
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