Philadelphia Ballet Presents Holiday Favorite George Balanchine's The Nutcracker

BySteph Walton WPVI logo
Monday, November 27, 2023
Philadelphia Ballet Presents Holiday Favorite The Nutcracker
The Philadelphia Ballet is preparing for its annual must-see performance of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Nutcracker is a beloved show, for both dancers and audiences alike.

"We're very excited to be able to bring it every season," says Angel Corella, Artistic Director for Philadelphia Ballet. "It's turned into the number one holiday tradition."

The Philadelphia Ballet will put on 31 shows this year at the Academy of Music.

"It's beautiful dancing, beautiful music and a great story," says Corella. "You can share it with the whole family."

And it's a great chance for children in the School of the Philadelphia Ballet to take the stage.

"This is a show for the kids," says Corella. "The whole first act is all kids from the school."

The Lisa and Audrey Bell Demi Soloist, Jacqueline Callahan, went to the Rock School, which was founded by the ballet in 1963.

"We went to see The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music," says Callahan. "My mom told me if I wanted to be in the show, I had to join the school."

Callahan first danced as an angel at age 8, then played the lead child, Marie.

"It holds so many memories for me," she says.

Now as a professional, Callahan dances a few different roles.

"I do marzipan principal. I do dew drop and coffee. And then I also do Marie's mom, the hostess in the party scene," she says.

The story is set on Christmas Eve and follows the adventures of Marie.

"She's gifted a nutcracker by her godfather," says Callahan. "And she falls asleep and has a dream where the Nutcracker basically comes to life and defeats the Mouse King."

"Then, the Nutcracker takes her to the land of candy, and then they visit the Sugar Plum Fairy. They see all these people from different worlds," says Corella.

And it's all tied together by the music of Tchaikovsky.

"Those pieces of music are iconic, but the dancing and the choreography - it's beautiful to watch," says Corella.

"The show is really magical, so I hope it continues to bring in kids to ballet," says Callahan.

The Philadelphia Ballet performs George Balanchine's The Nutcracker December 8-30 at the Academy of Music.

Philadelphia Ballet presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker | Tickets

Academy of Music

240 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102