The Nutcracker


 A message from the Interim Artistic Director

Welcome one and all to New Haven Ballet’s 18th annual production of The Nutcracker!

This year has brought back so many incredible memories. As I have worked with each performer—from our youngest, exuberant reindeer to seasoned adult party guests—I am reminded of my own training and performance experiences. It gives me goose bumps to recall my first Nutcracker, running out onto what felt like an infinitely large stage at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago and gazing out into row upon row of seats filled with excited audience members. I thought about some of the incredibly talented and famous performers I had seen standing on that very same stage and thought, “I am the luckiest person in the world.”

And I was.

To be given an opportunity to share a piece of one’s self through performing before a live audience is one of the greatest gifts imaginable. This year’s cast features over 240 performers, who will not only dance to Tchaikovsky’s famous score performed by the New Haven Ballet Orchestra but also have the chance to learn about the many facets of live theater. It has been an honor and privilege to work with so many dedicated dancers and provide them with the opportunity of sharing with all of you a glimpse into their hearts. From Clara’s jubilance upon receiving the Nutcracker as a gift from her mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer, to the excitement of the battle between Clara’s beloved Nutcracker and his soldiers against the band of Mice and their Mouse King, to the serenity of traveling through the Land of Snow, and finally the joy of visiting the Kingdom of Sweets – we are delighted to share this treasured experience with each member of you, our audience.

I am also grateful for and wish to extend a special thank-you to those who have made the magic of Nutcracker possible: our New Haven Ballet faculty and staff, for investing their time and their talent; NHBO’s Conductor and musicians, for bringing their special magic to the production; the Board of Directors, for their guidance and assistance; the Shubert staff and crew, for their superb support and expertise; our students’ families, for their generous support of every kind; and our tireless volunteers, for their cheerful willingness to undertake any task, no matter how small or large, to make this production a success. They all remind us what the spirit and true meaning of the holidays really are.

On behalf of New Haven Ballet’s staff and performers, I wish you all a joyous and safe holiday season, and thank you for making our Nutcracker a part of your holiday tradition.

Happy Holidays,

Lisa Sanborn


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