Family-Friendly Nutcracker Prelude to Delight and Educate Holiday Audiences

Colburn School dancers perform in the 2017 Nutcracker Prelude.

Each year the classic holiday tale of The Nutcracker is brought to life on stages around the world, as audiences experience a young girl’s perilous and romantic journey through an enchanted winter wonderland. During two events, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at The Music Center and Colburn’s own Nutcracker Prelude, the Colburn community can take part in the magic.

For the second year, young dancers at Colburn have had the opportunity to dance in the holiday favorite. A partnership between The Music Center, Colburn School, and the Gabriella Foundations “everybody dance!” program gives ballet students from all over the city the chance to train, audition for, and—hopefully—perform in the production with the Miami City Ballet.

The Nutcracker is often called the ‘gateway ballet,’” said Trudl Zipper Dance Institute Associate Dean James Fayette, who said seeing the ballet with family is how many young people come to love the genre. Mr. Fayette and Dean Jenifer Ringer both appeared in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker as New York City Ballet principal dancers, with Ms. Ringer appearing in the central role of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Mr. Fayette says that, while the colorful sets and masterful dancing enchant younger audiences, the lack of narration on the ballet poses a challenge when it comes to understanding the plot. That’s why the Colburn School presents the complementary Nutcracker Prelude, an engaging performance narrated by Trudl Zipper Dance Institute Dean Jenifer Ringer that aims to familiarize children with the story.

“It’s a great way for young people to understand the story before they go see the full production,” said Mr. Fayette. The production involves musicians from around the school, and Mr. Fayette is particularly enthusiastic about the Community School children’s choir, who are singing parts of the snow scene and the Sugar Plum solo.

Guests can also purchase tickets to the Nutcracker Village following the event, during which the upstairs of the Grand Building turns into a winter wonderland, with treats and festivities the whole family can enjoy.

Nutcracker Prelude, Mr. Fayette notes, also allows the whole family to experience the story together. “The most exciting thing is to have children and families interact in the audience, because when they perform it at The Music Center the students are on stage, in a structured, professional environment,” he said. “During Nutcracker Prelude, everyone gets to experience the ballet together.”

Get your tickets to Nutcracker Prelude today. You can purchase tickets for the performance only, or for the Nutcracker Village experience, which includes tickets to the show.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker opens on November 30 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. Learn more and purchase tickets at The Music Center.