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Keepin' It Local: Idaho's premier ballet company puts a new spin on the Nutcracker

After 11 years, Ballet Idaho gives The Nutcracker a new look

BOISE, Idaho — For over a decade, Ballet Idaho has been delivering holiday magic to the community through Nutcracker performances. It has become a holiday tradition for many. And for the first time in 11 years, Idaho’s premier ballet company is giving the production a whole new look.

“It is based on early Victorian. Very vivid. Very adventurous. Lots of hats. Lots of color. It is going to be gorgeous,” described Garrett Anderson Ballet Idaho Artistic Director.

The revamp of theme is a process that started over 3 years ago and will be embodied by the whole production, from lighting, to set and one of the most notable…costumes.

“We did our first mock-up fittings in 2017. Now we are fitting those costumes on our current dancers and cast to see if they will work. And we are doing the finishing. Lots and lots, and lots of finishing. Just to make everything as sparkly as possible,” explained Keri Fitch Costume Director for Ballet Idaho

Designing costumes for a ballet not only requires translating the theme, but functionality is also kept in mind. Keri Fitch explained how the material, design and details all need to be able to accommodate a dancer’s movements and the choreography. Plus, the costume needs to be easy to get in and out of in the event of quick changes.

It is something that Syd Bautista, dancer and student with The Ballet Idaho Academy, knows all too well. She will be playing the part of Clara in this year’s production and is already becoming familiar with one of her costumes.  “It definitely puts me into character. The party scene dress if very fancy and I love it,” exclaimed Sydney.

Costume Director, Keri Fitch, says all in all from start to finish about 50 different costumers played a role in making the wardrobe possible.

Ballet Idaho Artistic Director, Garrett Anderson explained how much fun a production like The Nutcracker is for the company, “There are about 70 company roles and about 110 children’s roles. We have 23 company dancers, so in any show, they are doing multiple parts. We have 300 students in our academy, so a lot of students are sharing roles. Everyone gets to be on stage.”

And everyone gets to be a part of the excitement. After all, The Nutcracker has been touching hearts and helping to ring in holiday cheer for almost 130 years across the globe. It has held a very special place in many hearts for a long time and Ballet Idaho is certain their version with a new twist will win even more hearts. “I think it is unbridled enthusiasm and joy about the holidays and what magic can look like,” Allana Love Marketing Director for Ballet Idaho described what the new production means to her.  

Ballet Idaho’s Nutcracker will open on December 19th with seven shows through the 23rd. Tickets are available at balletidaho.org.

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