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Nutcracker updates and casting?


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logolady - DD's Nutcracker casts exclusively young Claras who are en pointe. They are typically 12-13 years old and just under 5 feet tall - the smaller the better because they want her to look as young as possible. We have an adult prince.


DD13 is a snowflake and a flower this year. These are considered the "top" children's roles which is somewhat bittersweet in that now she will probably be a snowflake and a flower until she finishes high school. They've already had a couple of rehearsals and she is on cloud 9!

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About Clara casting: DD13 has attended two different ballet schools


School 1 -- Clara is usually around age 12. Although students at that school are en pointe by that age, Clara does not dance en pointe. The school has two identical costumes, one larger and one smaller, so girls of different heights can be cast. However, they choose a girl who is smaller than the boy cast as the Prince. Some years that has meant that they have to choose a shorter girl. Our Nutcracker is played by an adult male, but when he changes, the Prince is played by a teenage boy. Clara dances the entire show, including flowers, fairies, and snow.


School 2 -- Clara is usually around age 12 and dances on flat. She has to be shorter to fit in the costume. After the party scene, she changes to a big Clara, who is a professional dancer. So this little Clara is in the party scene only.

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At our prior school, Clara was anywhere from 10-17. She danced on flat. Height was all over the place. It resulted in some pretty interesting party scenes, especially when Clara was taller than most adults one year. Sometimes, when the Prince was shorter, a different dancer was Clara for the dream/battle. And usually another dancer entirely was Clara who sat and watched in the Land of Sweets. Very interesting, and confusing.


We changed schools before dd was "eligible" for that Clara. This year we are not doing Nutcracker, and we are all looking forward to more family time this holiday time.

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My dd auditioned for her 5th Nut. on Saturday and they announced the casting results last night.

This is her first season at the new studio, and the whole affair was handled so differently than at her last studio!

The new studio is much bigger and has all the costumes that they reuse every year. Leading to, her first time understanding that it is not solely based on ability, but also based on if you would fit into the costume or not!


She was cast with 3 parts and is happy. :clapping:


Looking forward to another fun season!!


edited to say: Oops! I posted in the wrong place. My dd is under 13, so if you want to move my post to the right place that would be great!

Edited by dsballet1
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My DD 13 is anxiously awaiting nutcracker results. She switched studios this fall. In the past she was always too tall for any roles given to children. She is so excited about the mere idea of being part of a nutcracker that she will be thrilled with any part.

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Auditions for DD were yesterday. This will be her 9th Nutcracker. Things are different this year for her. She is at a new studio and although she is in an advanced level, she is only 5' 2". She understands the costume issues and is just keeping her fingers crossed. Casting should be out in about a week.

She's a rare dancer in that she has never had a huge desire to be Clara... her dream Nutcracker role is Arabian.

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So sad, no more Nutcracker for my 15yo dd-- she's been in it since she was 6. Our company changed versions this year, so no more roles for anyone over 5'2" (other than professional company). But yippee for me, only 1 daughter in it (10yo), so the most shows we'll have to be at is 20! (1/2 of 39, plus dress rehearsal). The last 2 years, the two of them have been- 1 double cast, 1 triple cast meaning 24-27 shows, and only a few together. Somehow, 20 seems like a breeze!

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Our auditions are Saturday. However, we are a tiny studio. Our director precast some roles - including Clara! Our Clara dances a lot en pointe and is also small. We only have two girls that fit that at our studio and one was Clara last year, so the other was cast this year (which is very good as she was quite upset last year). Snow was also cast and this year we are including some of the younger hard working girls who have started pointe but aren't very comfortable en pointe yet. So we are having the high level girls en pointe, and the others on flat for snow. Our snow is contemporary ballet movement - well, not really contemporary, lets say neo-classical.


Last year adults did Spanish and it was fantastic - this year senior level is auditioning for it. My daughter was Mother Ginger last year and had to wear flowers costume underneath - this year I sure hope our Drosselmyer will do Ginger! Since my dd is so very tall, she's never had the opportunity for Clara. My husband joined in for the party scene last year! Maybe, if I'm not running things too very much back stage, I'll join him this year!


DD's fave is Arabian as well. She danced it last year but I know our director is planning something new this year and its not listed as one that they are auditioning for! We usually hire a professional guy for Prince/Nutcracker and we have pro's dance snow queen and sugar plum.

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Well - our son has decided to do the professional company's Nutcracker (vs. his studio's holiday original ballet). It was a difficult heart wrenching decision for him. He was cast as Fritz in Act 1 and the nephew in Act 2. Besides being the excitement of this being his first Nutcracker, it will be performed in our city's brand new, beautiful big performing Arts Center. I have a dream of his triplet sister playing in the Symphony that will be accompanying it - which might just happen!

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DD's 9th season of Nutcracker this year (but she did two last year), so starting her 10th! She has now been involved in three different Nuts.


As for the role of Clara: DD's first, a community company made up of students, has Clara as a young 11-13 year old. She must be under 58", could possibly be en pointe, but dances in flats. DD danced Clara when she was 12. Last year, DD was in the Nut at her pre-pro. This is one of the oldest Nutcracker productions in the country. Clara is a young pre-teen/teen. She dances in flats for party scene and changes to pointe in Act 2. For the production she is in this year, I believe Clara is a young girl for party scene and a company member after that.


DD (age 18) is a trainee for a ballet company this year, so casting is a whole new world. So far, she has been cast as a soldier, which she is happy with because last year in the professional production she was in she played two "glorified scenery" parts with mostly walking and acting (still valuable experience). I think she has been very lucky to have great parts in her student production over the years, so she doesn't feel like she is missing out on anything--she's been fortunate to wear the tutu and tiara a few times. She is ok with being cast as anything because she knows it is just another learning opportunity. But this year she may be able to understudy a company role, so she is still waiting on that news.


At her student company, dancers usually only got one role, but it could be anything from a cookie (for the tiny 6-year-olds) to Sugar Plum Fairy. Roles were awarded after being scored by a panel of judges, so it was always a surprise! But since a dancer could potentilaly end up with the choicest of parts, many dreams were fulfilled or dashed when casting was posted. But now that DD has moved on to a new stage, any opportunity to learn something new is a gift.


This year DD got a taste of being on the other side...she got to help with the younger children at auditions this year and she said it was so fun to see how excited they were. She said she remembers fondly how "magical" Nutcracker was at that age. Happy Nutcracker season to all!

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I love reading about everyone's Nutcrackers and how they vary.


I have to agree with Nutcracker being magical, not just for little ones! It is magical for my DD and for me. I just LOVE seeing the young dancers rise up through the various roles and watch them dance every year. I just warms my heart!


I treasure this period of time, I know it won't last forever!

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DS is also a trainee this year with a company who does an abbreviated traveling nutcracker for the local schools. He's Fritz, a soldier, and a party boy. The trainees are not involved in the company's nutcracker except to help with the auditions. He also has an opportunity for guestings which he is excited about. It's super sad for me that I won't get to see him perform this year locally, with him so far away. His sisters both got the same parts - party dolls and Chinese. Super excited for party dolls - those are solo roles enpointe.

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At our studio the Nutcracker can vary from year to year. Clara has been a younger girl on flat, a slightly older (but smaller) girl on pointe and this year is two younger girls, but both just started pointe, so if they do any pointe work I'm sure it will be minimal and very simple. I have a very tall daughter so she never had a shot at Clara. But over the years she's been cast mostly with the lower level older girls, so she's been challenged and she never felt that she was being slighted by not dancing with her peers.


This year she was cast as a doll. It's a great role and she is so excited! I am, too. Dolls dance duets so it will be so nice to see her featured, and it's a great pointe role. She's also dancing Arabian and Flowers.

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My dd's last Nutcracker!! She is waiting to hear if they have hired a partner for her who is tall enough. Last year he didn't show up at the first rehearsal and her pas turned into a group! She will do Snow and Flowers too.

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