ABT announced casting for The Nutcracker December 12-21 at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Tickets go on sale for the 13 performances Monday, August 18. Notable is who is not dancing: Isabella Boylston, Herman Cornejo, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Paloma Herrera, Veronika Part, Xiomara Reyes, Daniil Simkin. Casting for Clara consists of Stella Abrera, Misty Copeland, Gillian Murphy, Sarah Lane, Hee Seo while the Nutcracker will be played by Joseph Gorak, Alexandre Hammoudi, Cory Stearns, Eric Tamm, and David Whiteside. Stella and Misty will make their ABT debuts as Clara.
This will be ABT’s final season of The Nutcracker at BAM. Beginning December 2015, ABT will perform at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. Sorry to see The Nutcracker move west. As I wrote in March, when ABT announced the new Ratmansky Nutcracker in 2009, the plan was to increase the run to four weeks. ABT trumpeted the economic virtues of The Nutcracker as it is the financial foundation of many ballet companies. However, the 2013 run contained 12 performances over 8 days, similar to 2012, down from 18 performances over 13 days in 2011. Despite attractive ticket prices and positive reviews, ABT’s plan never materialized.
Since the ABT Nutcracker was a new product in New York relative to more established Nutcrackers, more advertising could have helped. I did not seen much print and TV ads for the ABT Nutcracker, unlike the New York City Ballet version. This is a shame because the ABT version is very good and reasonably priced.