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Nunnbetter Dance Theatre Presents THE NUTCRACKER


Nunnbetter Dance Theatre's beautiful pre-professional production of The Nutcracker will premiere on Sunday, December 20th, 2020 at 7:00 pm eastern.

Nunnbetter Dance Theatre Presents THE NUTCRACKER

Traditions are hard to break! And for Nunnbetter Dance Theatre, breaking tradition this year was not an option. After 22 years of producing one of Bergen County's most beloved productions of The Nutcracker, Nunnbetter Dance Theatre (NDT) needed to think outside the box to create a COVID-safe way to bring this beautiful ballet to life.

When the Covid-19 pandemic forced Nunnbetter Dance Theatre to close its doors back in March 2020, no one was certain of the fate of the long-established and beloved studio. Like many small businesses, the question of whether or not the studio would be able to hold on was very real. NDT, however, immediately rose to the challenge and started offering online classes for its dancers, providing them with the rigorous and high-quality training that was so important for them. After researching CDC best practices for sanitation after Governor Murphy gave the go- ahead NDT opened its doors to a small test pilot summer program. Would students and faculty be able to manage classes while wearing masks? Could each studio be mapped with social distancing markers, and most importantly, would families feel comfortable with the precautions put in place? Luckily, the answer was a resounding yes. And this little studio that could, determinedly forged ahead changing and learning a new way to operate along the way.

September came and the school year began. Enrollment was down as was expected. While still wondering if the studio was going to be able to survive, another question rose to the top of everyone's mind... would The Nutcracker ,such a huge part of the studio's identity, be produced? Studio owner, Kimberly Galberaith, along with the Nutcracker artistic team, set out to figure out a way to make it happen

Each scene in The Nutcracker was carefully analyzed. How many dancers could be in the rehearsal studio at a time and still adhere to NDT's strict social distancing policies? In a ballet the lead dancers usually perform a dramatic pas de deux where the male dancers lift and support the female dancer. How could we restage these sections so that there was no physical contact while maintaining the beauty and magic of the dance? And most of all how would we perform the show since audiences were not allowed. But where there is passion, there is a path. And so, NDT's artistic team began to reimagine this timeless tradition. Auditions were held, casting lists were posted, and rehearsals were scheduled. Casting was thoughtfully reimagined so that no costumes were shared, no parts were double cast, and of course, some numbers were completely restaged. And the idea of filming the full ballet in pieces began to emerge. Each group, pod by pod, would rehearse and then filmed. At no time did the studio, rehearsal space or performance studio break self-imposed or state capacity rules.

Now it is December and the holidays are upon us. Nunnbetter Dance Theatre will present a fully-filmed, reimagined, and COVID-safe spectacular production of The Nutcracker! A tiny studio, a determined group of teachers and choreographers and of course, over 60 dedicated dancers transcended what couldn't be to create what could be.

Nunnbetter Dance Theatre's beautiful pre-professional production of The Nutcracker will premiere on Sunday, December 20th, 2020 at 7:00 pm eastern. Tickets to view the production can be purchased at All are invited to share in the holiday magic of this timeless ballet.

Nunnbetter Dance Theatre invites new dancers to join the school in January. Schedule and registration information can be found at or by calling 201-385-9638.

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