Perennial favorite The Nutcracker returns this holiday season—but in true 2020 style, this year sees The Joffrey Ballet production virtually and at a social distance.
The Snowflakes with set design by Julian Crouch
The annual pilgrimage to take in The Nutcracker is as synonymous with the season as hot cocoa by the fire, tinsel-trimmed trees and mistletoe in thresholds. As with much of 2020, this year, The Joffrey Ballet has had to nix its Lyric Opera House debut of the Christmastime classic and dance the now-all-too-familiar pas de bourrée pivot as it shifts—and expands—its programing. Enter: plentiful virtual viewing options; streaming of PBS’ Making a New American Nutcracker (through Dec. 31), which documents The Joffrey’s 2016 reimagination of the ballet; kid-friendly Virtual Enchanted Evening Nutcracker-themed classes (Dec. 11, ages 7 to 9); and The Nutcracker presentation of Art on theMART (through Dec. 30, @artonthemart), where signature scenes are projected on the landmark Chicago building. “We’re giving new meaning to the expression ‘larger than life,’” says Ashley Wheater MBE, Mary B. Galvin artistic director, of this year’s Art on theMART. “The process of creating such a beautiful rendition of The Joffrey’s version of The Nutcracker has been wonderfully gratifying and emotional. During these challenging times, we are so pleased to present a little holiday magic for the people and city of Chicago.”