“The Nutcracker” productions adapt to changing cultural points of view | Arts and theater

“Midsummer” was a great transition in helping the dancers get back into shape and prepare for the rigors of the “Nutcracker,” said Schumann. Her new choreography will refine the ballet’s narrative and highlight Clara’s “dream”, the little girl who receives a Nutcracker toy at a party, then falls asleep and dreams that the Nutcracker has come to life as Prince. .

In another departure, Schumann chose an adult as Clara. In part, that’s because planning for this year’s “Nutcracker” began before children under the age of 12 could receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Besides doing a new ‘The Nutcracker’, I had to be thinking ‘How am I going to do a’ Nutcracker ‘without kids?’ Schumann said.


With Madison Ballet ballet master Thomas Mattingly, Schumann shaped the choreography so that the roles of the children could grow over the years, as does the size of the cast, she said. Schumann, who was a choreographer, solo dancer and ballet master at the Lyric Opera of Chicago for 16 years, has performed in numerous “The Nutcracker” during her career, most notably as the American Beauty Rose in the famous version Ruth Page.

“I will definitely be thanking Ruth Page” in Madison Ballet’s new production, she said.

Schumann, who enjoys “a ‘traditional’ ‘nutcracker,” called on the expertise of local dancers to add cultural richness.

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