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Interlochen's THE NUTCRACKER Dances Into Your Home Via Detroit Public TV

A new fully staged production of the classic ballet will be streamed beginning tonight.

Interlochen's THE NUTCRACKER Dances Into Your Home Via Detroit Public TV

Clara, her parents and even Herr Drosselmeyer know better than to invite you into the Stahlbaum House during a pandemic. Instead, they have a better idea. With the help of Interlochen Arts Academy and Detroit Public TV, they will bring the glorious tradition of "The Nutcracker" into your home this holiday season.

A new fully staged production of the classic ballet will be streamed this Saturday night at DPTV.org, WRCJ.org and Interlochen.org, as well as on Facebook, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Then as a special treat on Christmas Day, Detroit Public TV (56.1) will broadcast the performance at 8 p.m., after which it will be available on demand at DPTV.org.

As the nation's premier arts boarding high school, Interlochen Arts Academy is a global destination for young artists pursuing pre-professional training in music, dance, theatre, visual arts, creative writing and film, alongside a robust academic curriculum that prepares them to excel in the arts and beyond. Just ask some of its alums - Anthony McGill, principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic; Janet Eilber, artistic director of the Martha Graham Center; and Josh Lederman, national political correspondent for NBC News, to name a few.

The Arts Academy is part of Interlochen Center for the Arts, one of Michigan's cultural gems, which also offers a renowned multidisciplinary summer arts camp, performances throughout the year by celebrated guest artists and Interlochen students, two public radio stations (classical music and news), continuing education in the arts and world-class virtual arts instruction. Nestled in scenic northwest Michigan, it's also a great place to visit and soak in the creativity that permeates the air.

This year's production of "The Nutcracker" is a testament to the unstoppable creativity and resilience of Interlochen students. On the evening of Sunday, November 15, an emergency order by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services required all high schools in Michigan to shift to virtual instruction two school days later. Realizing that this was their only opportunity to preserve their scheduled December 12 webcast, Interlochen students performed the fully staged production four weeks ahead of schedule, literally hours before the emergency order took effect.

Missing weeks of training and with no staging, dress or technical rehearsals, students bravely performed in front of the cameras, overcoming the additional challenge of performing in masks, with new, socially-distanced choreography. Nevertheless, it's as beautiful and high-caliber a production as ever, with stunning visual effects and gorgeous hand-crafted costumes.
Arts Academy Director of Dance Joseph Morrissey choreographed and staged the new production with Interlochen's health protocols in mind, creating a new version that captures the essence of the ballet's music, dancing and theatricality. It features 34 young Interlochen dancers, who hail from 22 U.S. states.

Morrissey's new choreography offers opportunities for students to showcase greater technical maturity and artistic expression. For example, the role of Clara has been re-envisioned as a young adult, whose relationship with her life-sized nutcracker doll, turned handsome prince, takes on a more romantic tone.

Prince Coqueluche, a character who appeared in the original 1892 production, returns as the Sugar Plum Fairy's partner, establishing a dynamic between the two couples both youthful and mature. Creative props, such as lengths of silk, will enable aspects of partnering while maintaining social distance. Additionally, re-envisioned and amusing characters throughout the ballet will add to the production's newness and charm.

"This year's production of 'The Nutcracker' has come together in a new way that showcases the skills and commitment of our Academy dancers," Morrissey said. "I hope audiences can take their minds off the current global situation and allow themselves to be transported to an enchanting and familiar story told through beautiful music and dance."

To borrow a line from Chuck Berry, tell Tchaikovsky the news - "The Nutcracker" will dance straight from Interlochen into our homes this holiday season.




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