Ballet West's "The Nutcracker" Gets A Facelift

Ballet West's "The Nutcracker" - 2017 renovations

The very popular company Ballet West has spent the last two years renovating their production of William Christensen’s “The Nutcracker”… and it’s supposedly going to be pretty spectacular.

The show has gone from drab to fab thanks to The George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. According to the Trustee, the costumes were falling apart and needed some serious improvements.

So what’s been done? Well, the sets are new, the costumes are pristine, and the special effects are fanciful. New props include a hand designed 3D printed Nutcracker, a cannon, swords, not to mention a sleigh to lift Clara and her Prince high above stage . Oh, and all the new tutus have 16-yards of tulle and 806 Swarovski crystals! (There can never be too much bling on a tutu, right?). But Ballet West is sentimental and will be holding onto the grandfather's clock which dates from their very first production.

So you’re probably thinking: this new show sounds great and all, but how much is it going to cost me? After all, the handmade tutus are estimated at $8,000 each! Well, do not worry, because ticket prices will remain the same at $20 to $80, depending on the seat selection. So if you find yourself around Salt Lake City this Christmas season, go and see the spectacle for yourself, and hopefully it will live up to the anticipation!

Has your Nutcracker also recently gotten an upgrade? Leave us a photo in the comments!

photo: Ballet West

Dancers and Sexual Assault - An Opportunity To Speak Up

Over the last few months, more and more horrifying reports of sexual assault have been surfacing from all over the country - from TV, Hollywood and beyond.

Our hearts go out to all of those who have had traumatic experiences, and though we sincerely hope that you have not been affected in any way, the unfortunate reality of our industry is that some of our dear readers may be victims.

Dance Magazine has created a survey you can use to report an experience you may have had. Follow this link to fill out their online form here.

Your voice is important, dear dancer. If you are comfortable, please speak up - you are not alone. Here are some other resources for you:

National Sexual Assault Helpline
1 (800) 656-4673

RAINN (National Anti-Sexual Violence Association)

Safe Horizon

ABT James Whiteside Has Got New Shoes

James Whiteside KOIO shoes - photo: Levi Jackman Foster

ABT sweetheart James Whiteside just can't be satisfied, it seems. The man can sing, we KNOW he can dance, and he's featured in some of our favorite music videos (search for JBDUBBS on YouTube). But now he's ventured into a new area - design.

He's just announced a new collaboration with KOIO, a luxury sneaker house. His new shoe, which drops next month, looks like it's sure to be just as unique and gorgeous as James himself.

Each shoe will be made of satin, a nod to James's ballet heritage, and are handmade in a tiny factory in Italy. Each will be stamped with his signature claw, which James himself has tattooed on his ribs.

Want a pair? Of course you do. The shoe will hit the NYC KOIO store on December 2nd, but brace yourself. Since each pair takes over 4 hours to create, only 120 pairs will be made, and each will be sold for a cool $298.

Keep your eyes peeled for more from James in the future! We're sure this won't be his only fashion collab.

photo by Levi Jackman Foster

No Nutcracker? No Problem.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Now that Turkey Day is done, the Christmas trees are going up! That means that it’s officially time to hang the stockings, string the lights, and dust off the caroling books. And if you’re a dancer, you know that it’s almost time for your holiday performances. That means Nutcracker is just around the corner…but what if you’re not a ballet dancer? Well if you’re a jazz lover, a hip hop superstar, or a musical theater protege- here are some holiday career alternatives.

For those with a passion for theater, you can go and see “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. Maybe you’ll fall in love with the musical and realize that you want to be a part of the green guy’s show next year. In that case, brush up on your vocals, prepare your audition songbook, and think mean and green.

If you’re into having a poppin’ and lockin’ holiday, then you should know that there is a “Hip Hop Nutcracker” on tour! It’s a whole new take on the holiday classic, and it might be your type of thing. Who knows, maybe you’ll be up there one day getting down with the snowflakes.

Last but certainly not least is the “Christmas Spectacular” with the Radio City Rockettes. If you love jazz and tap, you need to check this out. For Christmas, ask your parents, your boyfriend, or your significant other for a trip to New York (or hey, buy the ticket yourself!) and go see the show! You may find yourself rocking those eye high kicks in a few years.

Not a ballerina? Never fear, there’s plenty other options to spread Christmas cheer. Nutcracker can even be a bit of a bore, so say hello to something funky and fresh this season. Time to shake those reindeer tails my friends.