Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker moves to virtual performances amid COVID-19 pandemic


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some holiday traditions will have to be put on hold this year because of COVID-19, but Ballet Austin is hoping to at least keep families in the holiday spirit.

“The idea of taking it off was just an idea that we didn’t contemplate,” said Stephen Mills, Ballet Austin’s artistic director.

Mills says they won’t be able to perform to a live audience this year, but they will offer the performance virtually. They announced initial plans for virtual performances in September.

“The Nutcracker is still going to be in this community in a way that is safe and still allow families to connect with it,” Mills said.

Families can now order the performance online and watch it through the holidays.

“We are very fortunate as a company to have captured last year a multicamera capture that allows us to have a wonderful full length HD movie,” said Cookie Ruiz, Ballet Austin’s executive director.

Ballet Austin is hoping to reach even more families than they have in years past with the move to a virtual performance.

“This provides an opportunity for people who coming to the theater was not something they were used to doing,” Ruiz said.

Since March, Ballet Austin has had to cancel four performances, but the dancers have not stopped working.

“The dancers are separated into groups of five,” Mills said. “We call them our little pods and they take class every day as they normally would.”

The hope is to return to live performances soon, but until then, the dancers and Ballet Austin are just hoping to keep at least one holiday tradition alive this holiday season.

“It is part of their tradition, so we are so we are finding the best way to share that with Central Texas,” Ruiz said.

For more details on packages and pricing, visit Ballet Austin’s website.

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