Tricia has been with MCB for 22 years, and first performed the Sugarplum Fairy 15 years ago. Find out what she loves about The Nutcracker.


Company Position: Principal
Years with Company: 22
Hometown: Santa Cruz, California

Tricia Albertson may exude a “cool eloquence,” (New York Times) on stage, but behind the curtain is a warm, sweet, soft-spoken woman who has spent years developing her craft with a dedication few can attest to.

With the season of giving in full swing, we did a little Q&A with Tricia to talk about the special gifts of being a dancer.

What is the greatest gift given to you as it relates to dance?
Wow! I could go so many directions here. The first thing that comes to mind is my freedom, my identity. Dance gave me my voice.

What inspires you to keep giving of yourself as an artist?
There was a time when I felt very stuck. I joined the Company at 17. I was a kid. A fast dancer. I always danced youthful roles. Nothing that carried much gravitas or was very mature. When Lourdes came on [as Artistic Director in 2012] she saw me with fresh eyes. She saw me in much more mature roles, and I didn’t know that side of myself. Her sitting me down and saying, “You are Tricia, you’re not any other dancer and can’t pretend to be any other dancer.” She said to me, “You have to acknowledge your strengths and let them shine.” Those first two seasons with Lourdes were a huge moment of growth for me and inspiration.

You first performed Sugarplum Fairy about 15 years ago. How do you keep the Sugarplum Fairy alive so many years later?
The kids get to do a few rehearsals with us. When I get out there with my wand and all the little angels are around, I can see how excited they are. I always try to go around to each one and tell them to have fun, to smile. I give them a magic wand tap. That’s when it feels really special to me.

Any special plans this holiday season?
Yes! My parents and my grandparents just moved to Fort Lauderdale, and my sister and her husband already live here. This Christmas will be the first time in twenty years that my entire family will be together.

Photo: Tricia Albertson and Rainer Krenstetter in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust. Photo © Daniel Azoulay.