Nashville Ballet Adds New Magic to ‘Nashville’s Nutcracker’ [Review]

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Nashville's Nutcracker Review
Heather Thorne

The 10th anniversary of Nashville Ballet‘s annual Nashville’s Nutcracker performance brought new magic to Music City’s holiday spectacle.

This is a big year for Nashville’s Nutcracker — and that was evident during opening weekend at TPAC. Nashville Ballet Artistic Director and CEO Paul Vasterling offers a local take on the classic Nutcracker every year, but this year was extra special. He sets the story at the Tennessee Centennial Exposition of 1897 with Clara (Claire Murray) and Uncle Drosselmeyer (Jon Upleger). That’s where Clara receives the magic Nutcracker.

This year, Vasterling added more magic to the performance. From beginning to end, this ballet is more captivating than ever before. The party during Act I at the Stahlbaum’s home is elegant and beautiful, but Drosselmeyer’s magic tricks steal the show. ACT I ends with a battle scene that, this year, includes a Dancing Bear Cavalry of young dancers and the beautiful snow scene. This year, the snow falls on stage — and off.

ACT II will inspire any young dancer that wants to perform on a large scale. Both The Parthenon Garden scene and The Kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy Scene include gorgeous performances and glimmering costumes. Julia Mitchell is this year’s talented Dew Drop Fairy and Christopher Stuart is her Nutcracker Prince. Kayla Rowser dances as the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy with Judson Veach as the Cavalier.

This can’t miss performance is backed by the Nashville Symphony, led by guest conductor Ming Luke. They bring the two-hour performance to life. Nashville’s Nutcracker is the perfect ballet for the whole family. It will make everyone a ballet fan, especially with familiar music from the original ballet.

Read more about this year’s 10th-anniversary performance here.

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