Dreaming of a Better Nutcracker

It’s Time to Break With Outdated Tradition and Dare to Reimagine the Iconic Ballet

When July came and went and there was no audition notice from my daughter’s ballet school, no Doodle poll to survey my rehearsal availability, and no newsletter from ballet companies offering subscriber discounts, I knew. This would be a Year Without a Nutcracker.

At first, I was relieved. Over the last four decades, I’ve danced nearly every role in the beloved Christmas ballet, from Fritz (the little boy in the first act party scene who breaks the heroine Clara’s nutcracker) to the soloist roles such as Spanish Chocolate and …