American Ballet Theatre’s ‘The Nutcracker’ at BAM

One last crack! American Ballet Theatre performs its last ‘Nutcracker’ at BAM

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Aw, nuts!

The American Ballet Theatre is performing “The Nutcracker” for its fifth and final season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, kicking off its last string of 13 performances on Dec. 12. The company is taking its Christmas show to California next year, so this is your last chance to catch a performance that is truly a dance-step above the others in town — at least according to the troupe’s chief executive officer.

“This is completely new,” said American Ballet Theatre chief executive officer Rachel Moore, explaining that choreographer Alexei Ratmansky ditched the ballet’s traditional moves. “He re-choreographed every single step in the ballet.”

More than 100 dancers will perform the daring — and sometimes dark — dances that center around Clara and the Nutcracker Prince. But Moore said the show truly comes to life through the dizzying array of dancers who shimmy and sway onstage.

“What makes it different is you have all these girls who are snowflakes — they act like a character,” said Moore. “They are scary and formidable.”

But the acts aren’t too creepy — the show is very family-friendly, according to Moore, who said kids as young as 4 can attend as long as their parents think they won’t crack during the nearly two-hour show. She said one of her favorite characters should have the kids grinning all night.

“I absolutely love the baby mouse, which is a character that shows up throughout the ballet,” she said. “He is a young dancer — kids really identify with having a kids’ character on stage.”

The company will start performing at California’s Segerstrom Center next December and Moore claimed the move is a logical expansion for the troupe — not a dis to the borough.

“We’re America’s national ballet company and we were given the opportunity to truly become bicoastal,” said Moore, adding that the company is also opening a school in California. “We’re really trying to establish ourselves on both coasts — it is not that we didn’t love Brooklyn.”

American Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House [30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street in Fort Greene, (718) 636–4100,]. Dec. 12–14 and 16–21 at various times. Tickets start at $20.

Updated 12:19 pm, December 9, 2014
Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her
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