All over the world, The Nutcracker ballet is performed at Christmas time. For many people, seeing The Nutcracker is an annual tradition, an essential part of their Christmas celebration. But there is only one place where scenes of this classic story take place in a bayou, in plantation homes, and around famous Louisiana landmarks.
The Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre presents “The Nutcracker – A Tale from the Bayou” this weekend, Dec. 20 and 21. Dancers leap and pirouette to Tchaikovsky’s enduring score, brilliantly accompanied by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. The performance has all the grace, elegance, spectacle and fun of the original, but with a distinct Louisiana flavor.
Originally set in Germany in the early 19th century, the classic story opens on Christmas Eve as a young girl named Clara receives a wooden nutcracker as a gift. After a lavish party at her home, she falls asleep and dreams of a magical world where her toys come to life. Clara’s beloved Nutcracker defends her in battle, then is turned into a Prince after Clara saves his life. The dream continues as they are taken on a wondrous journey.
The BRBT performance remains true to the classic story but reinvents the tale in a Louisiana setting with familiar backdrops and references. Antebellum-inspired costumes replace the usual Victorian dress. Cajun Clara’s home is modeled after the Nottoway Plantation. Other familiar landmarks include Oak Alley’s majestic tree-lined entrance and the intricate stained glass window and ornate spiral staircase inside the Old State Capitol.
“The Nutcracker – A Tale from the Bayou” will be performed on the stage at the River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts in Baton Rouge, Dec. 20 and 21st at 2 pm and 6 pm. Call the Box Office at 225-766-8379 to see if tickets are still available.
If you’ve never experienced the magic of this beautiful show, it’s not too late to start a new holiday tradition.
Photos from the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre Facebook page.