Tuesday, December 8, 2020

How To Livestream Professional Ballet Company Performances of 'The Nutcracker'


As we continue being careful of reopening our country due to COVID-19, one part of the country has remained in the dark of how long they will be shut down and that is the arts industry. If you haven't heard by now, Broadway is remaining closed until at least June 2021, making it a 15 month shut down in one of the biggest economy boosters in NYC and leaving hundreds of thousands unemployed. This also includes professional ballet companies. Many have tried to come back and do virtual performances or even socially distanced live performances, but unfortunately with the newest rise in cases, they have had to shut down again. 

If you weren't aware, the annual performances of The Nutcracker is the most profitable performance of the year and allows the companies to debut new ballets and pieces throughout the rest of the year. With many states going back to a phase of partial shutdown, many performances of The Nutcracker are now being streamed with a small fee to help these companies be able to support themselves. If you want to know more about how a professional ballet company runs and operates, Stephen Manes wrote a fantastic and in depth book, Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear, after following the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company intensely for a year. 

Below is a list of companies that are streaming a preformed version of their Nutcracker, including dates you can stream it and the fee to gain access to them. 

New York City Ballet - George Balanchine's The Nutcracker 

If you have never seen a professional version of this ballet, this is a great introduction to the story. George Balanchine created his version of The Nutcracker with the New York City Ballet and includes a growing tree to 120 feet. This version was filmed in the 2019 season and can be accessed through Marquee TV from December 11, 2020 until January 3, 2021. It's a $25 fee to access the stream and is available for 48 hours after the first stream. (This ticket also gives you a 30 day free trial into Marquee TV and also gives you access to The Royal Ballet's and Moscow Ballet Nutcracker). 

San Francisco Ballet

This is my favorite version of The Nutcracker I have watched ever and it's a major bucket list item to see them perform it live on year. A few years ago, they released a filmed version of the ballet to be aired on TV as a part of PBS and have now created a live streaming event for this year, which includes a tour of the theater they use and fun games for children to play. They will even get the chance to learn some of the choreography from the show. It is available November 27 through December 31 for $49 with a 48 hour access. 

Pacific Northwest Ballet

Another version of the George Balanchine staging, PNB created a more visual aspect of this show with bright colored costumes and sets against the NYCB more neutral colors. Running from December 18 until December 26, they have tiers of payment starting from $39. The bonus to their streaming is that it's an unlimited streaming purchase, meaning you can watch it as many times as you like during that time period. 

Houston Ballet - Nutcracker Sweets 

Streaming from December 15 through January 8, Houston Ballet is sharing their newly restaged version of The Nutcracker to your home for only $35. This is another unlimited streaming option for you to be able to capture every aspect of this new staging. 

Boston Ballet 

Boston Ballet has created an hour broadcast in partnership with a local TV company. All you have to do is put your name and email in and you have access to the broadcast at your convenience. 

Ballet West 

Ballet West has also partnered with a local TV company to air the full production of The Nutcracker on Christmas Eve, Day and New Years Day from 5:30-7 PM MST and is available through the local television companies app for a free steam. They are also asking for donations to help make up for not charging for viewing. 

I will continue to update this post as I research into more companies. If you have heard of any other productions that are streaming, not just in the United States, but world wide, let me know in the comments below! 


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