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Behind the Scenes at The Nutcracker

On September 26th the largest crowd of auditioners in over ten years filed through the doors of the AustinVentures StudioTheater. 198 young dancers auditioned for the 70 parts available to student performers. For those who were cast, the next few months will be filled with rehearsals, costume fittings, performances and more.

Getting the student performers of Ballet Austin ready for The Nutcracker is one of the largest endeavors we tackle each year and I thought it would be fun to list a few behind-the-scenes stats to give you an idea of the magnitude of the undertaking. For example, did you know:

  1. It takes an artistic staff of four to rehearse the student dancers a total of 75 hours from the first weekend in October to the final dress rehearsal on December 4?
  2. It takes a backstage staff of 15 to manage the students during rehearsals and performances at the Long Center?
  3. There are two, three and four casts (depending on the part) of student performers?
  4. Some students dance in all 12 performances and some dance in as few as 3?
  5. There are a total of 74 Angels in this year’s performance?
  6. Today’s costumes were first worn in 1996? Some of the first student performers to wear these costumes are now in their late 20s.

Here’s one final fun fact that has nothing to do with student performers. From 1993-1996 the role of Mother Ginger was ‘danced’ by yours truly…YIKES! Thankfully the tradition of “Celebrity Mother Ginger” began in 1997 and continues today!

Click here for more information on the 47th annual production of The Nutcracker.


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