Nashville Ballet, in partnership with Nashville’s CBS affiliate NewsChannel 5, will present a free televised premiere of Nashville’s Nutcracker Friday, Dec. 18. The full-length, televised performance, which will feature an introduction and narration by former Tennessee Titan Eddie George, will replace the previously scheduled in-theater production at TPAC’s Jackson Hall out of an abundance of caution amid COVID-19.
“For the past 12 years, we have brought the community together to celebrate the holiday season with Nashville’s Nutcracker,” said Nashville Ballet Artistic Director Paul Vasterling. “While we can’t celebrate in person this year, the televised performance will allow families and friends to safely continue their holiday traditions with us while also providing the unique opportunity to bring the transformative power of dance to more than two million Tennessee residents to begin new ones.”
Attracting more than 30,000 attendees each December, Nashville Ballet will create a made-for-television production of Nashville’s Nutcracker for the first time in company history. The two-hour performance will feature creative ways to engage audiences (such as George’s introduction and narration) as they take a sparkling (and safe, socially distant) journey through the Land of the Sweets and Music City’s past.
“The holiday season just isn’t complete without Nashville’s Nutcracker,” said Lyn Plantinga, vice president and general manager at NewsChannel 5. “Nashville’s Nutcracker puts a special spin on the classic tale by incorporating our city’s iconic landmarks, characters, and history. Our partnership with Nashville Ballet allows us to bring this experience into our viewers’ living rooms for the first time. It’s a special holiday gift for our community as we all navigate a new way to celebrate this season.”
In addition to the televised premiere, NewsChannel 5 will present a unique behind-the-scenes special leading up to its debut to provide coveted access into the making of Nashville Ballet’s holiday classic. The special will offer a sneak peek into Nashville’s Nutcracker rehearsals with its professional company dancers, a look into the glittering set design (which Nashville Ballet is constructing within its 12,000-square-foot warehouse), interviews with beloved characters, and more.