Syracuse City Ballet to Perform First Nutcracker Shows in Two Years Syracuse City Ballet Will Hold First Nutcracker Shows in Two Years

The shows will be at the Crouse-Hinds Theater in downtown Syracuse.

Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) –  Syracuse City Ballet will be performing The Nutcracker for the first time since 2019 this weekend.

After two years without performing on stage, members of the Syracuse City Ballet company are looking forward to continuing the holiday tradition. Many of them have danced in various Nutcrackers throughout their careers, and it is something they enjoy doing to kick off the holiday season.

“It’s just magical,” Artistic Director Aldo Katton Santiago said. “To me, it’s not holiday season without the Nutcracker.”

They’re excited to perform this year, especially since things have been so different due to the pandemic. They want to bring smiles to the audience’s faces, and make them forget about the hard things everyone has faced this year.

Dancers bowing at the end of a show.
The cast’s final bow at Nutcracker rehearsal.
© 2021 Allison Turner

“This one just feels like, everyone collectively needs the holiday spirit, and I don’t know what’s better than the Nutcracker,” Syracuse City Ballet Dancer Claire Solis said.

In addition to spreading holiday cheer, the dancers are excited about being on stage again. This is the first in-person stage show they have done since before the pandemic began, and they missed performing.

“But there’s just nothing like being on a stage in a theatre with the lights, the sets, and the smells, and it’s just like it has a life of it’s own to be in a theatre,” Syracuse City Ballet Dancer Cara Connolly said.

The dancers had to go through a few hurdles to get to this point. When the pandemic began, they were in the middle of preparing for their performance of Cinderella, which they had to cancel three days prior to opening. The studio then closed, and laid off their dancers temporarily.

During this time period, the teachers held classes on Zoom for the dancers to keep practicing, but it was up to them to stay in shape and work on their technique. Most of them had to take classes and practice at home, which proved to be a challenge.

“I pushed my couch aside and did barre holding onto the molding in my apartment,” Connolly said. “I had to be careful to not hit any walls.”

They kept pushing through the hard times because they knew that one day they would be able to perform on stage together again, and now is that time.

“Walking into the building for the first time after that experience was definitely a little bit emotional, a little bittersweet,” Connolly said.

The Nutcracker shows will be held on Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and Dec. 5 at noon. Tickets are available online on the Syracuse City Ballet website. All attendees must provide proof of vaccination status or a negative covid test in order to attend.


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