The 12 Days of Christmas: MCB Version

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

12 Floating Angels

11 Grown-Up Party Guests

10 hours of Production Load-In

9 Mischievous Mice

8 Miniature Italian Polichinelles

7 Fly Men (who make it snow!)

6 Prop People

5 Marzipan Shepherdesses

4 Call Lights

3 Giant Gifts

2 Colossal Bags of Snow


1 Magical Growing Christmas Tree

Miami City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM.  Choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust. Photos © Kyle Froman, Leigh-Ann Esty, Nicole Mitchell

The Nutcracker – Secrets from Behind-the-Scenes

Spoiler alert: the following video contains Nutcracker secrets!  With the help of our dancers and Pico, our wardrobe master, we’ve documented some of the behind-the-scenes secrets from our production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.

We can’t reveal how all the magic happens — we have to keep some tricks up our sleeves!

Our Nutcracker Memories – Part 2

This adorable two-part series comes to an end as Rebecca King talks to the Delgado sisters, Jennifer Lauren, and Tricia Albertson about their Nucracker memories!

Click here to see Our Nutcracker Memories – Part 1.

Behind the Lens with Leigh-Ann Esty: The Nutcracker

Post by Leigh-Ann Esty, Corps de Ballet

As a professional ballet dancer, my life is very busy. I am always learning new techniques, rehearsing five different ballets at a time, and traveling to different places every weekend. However, there is one thing about my crazy life that always stays the same…The Nutcracker. It comes once a year, EVERY year! When we begin to perform The Nutcracker, it means that the holiday season has begun. It is one of my favorite times of year! I began to photograph this ballet about three years ago. The colors are so vibrant in this production, which helps the photographs to be quite visually pleasing. There are five different parts of The Nutcracker that are my favorite to watch and photograph as well.

My first favorite part in The Nutcracker is the snow scene. This is such a magical moment in the ballet. Little pieces of white paper fall onto the stage, portraying the illusion of a blustery snow-covered forest. As the dancers jump around, “snow” is kicked into the air. Then, all of a sudden, the whole group of dancers run to the corner and stop abruptly, folding in half. Just when you think they are done, they start up again, shaking their pom poms that look like snow balls. I love the dramatics of this part! The music and choreography fit perfectly together.

In the second half of The Nutcracker, there are a number of divertissements. These act as entertainment in the Land of the Sweets. One of my favorites is the Candy Cane dance. The male lead in this has a very impressive part. He performs all of these tricks while jumping through a hoolahoop! It is quite exciting! I also love this music. It really gets me into the holiday spirit!

My all time favorite dance in The Nutcracker is the dance of the Dew Drop in Waltz of the Flowers. Her choreography is so musical and fluid. She gets to fly and spin across the stage. I get chills every time I watch this part, especially at the end when the music builds and explodes into a burst of energy. This is a dream role of mine!

Nutcracker would not be the same if it weren’t for the children. In this production, there are over 60 kids that get to participate. I love seeing their joy and excitement. It makes me remember when I was just starting out as a ballet dancer. My first role in The Nutcracker was a pollychenell. I will never forget feeling tears of joy every time I ran out from Mother Commedia’s skirt to bow. Now when I see the kids smile and beam on stage, I know exactly how they are feeling!

Click here to see Leigh’s Behind-the-Scenes of Nutcracker album on Facebook.

Click here to check out Leigh’s website.

Photos: Miami City Ballet dancers in George Balanchine’s The NutcrackerTM.  Choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust. Photo © Leigh-Ann Esty.

Our Nutcracker Memories – Part 1

Everyone has a special Nutcracker memory they will always cherish, whether it be a childhood experience or watching The Nutcracker for the first time as an adult. ‘Tis the season to reminisce about those special Nutcracker times. Corps de ballet dancer Rebecca King gathered some of the dancers to talk about their Nutcracker memories in this heartwarming video (which she produced =) ). Check back next week for Part 2!

Want to take part in the action? Leave a comment and tell us your favorite Nutcracker memory!

Liturgy with Patricia and Yann

Principal dancers Patricia Delgado and Yann Trividic began their partnership not too long ago yet have amazing chemistry! This season the duo had the opportunity to learn and perform Christopher Wheeldon’s  Liturgy. Watch as Patricia and Yann chat about how they prepared for the piece, and how they feel about this sensual and haunting pas de deux.