‘The Nutcracker’ is not canceled: Grapevine to host outdoor performance of the Christmas ballet

North Central Ballet will perform three outdoor shows during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this 2017 file photo, New York City Ballet principal dancers and Chamberlain Performing Arts students perform ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Eisemann Center in Richardson.(Rose Baca / Staff Photographer)


A Keller dance studio is adapting its annual Christmas performance of The Nutcracker for safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, North Central Ballet will perform three shows of the ballet outdoors at Grapevine’s Meadowmere Park.

“This is such a tradition for so many families, and this year it just looked like it wasn’t happening,” said Les Jordan, executive and artistic director of North Central Ballet.

The studio and Grapevine’s Parks and Recreation Department designed a plan to set up the park for a socially-distant experience of the Christmas classic, which North Central Ballet has performed for 25 years.

“COVID has made us all have to get creative,” Jordan said. “Just like the Grinch, we weren’t going to let COVID steal Christmas and Nutcracker.”

He said he anticipates there will be room to accommodate as many as 1,600 guests outside at the park, with social distancing in place.

Attendees will sit in different “pods,” 10-by-10-foot squares that are limited to six people each and set six feet apart. Masks will be required at the event anytime people come or go, are moving outside of their pods or visiting the food trucks the studio has hired, he said.

Grapevine will provide fire pits around the perimeter of the event and families will be allowed to bring their own seating and coolers, according to a North Central Ballet news release.

The dancers will perform on a large stage with a digital screen that will act as a backdrop with “virtual scenery.” Jordan said the cast includes about 80 people plus a backstage crew, and all will be required to wear masks when not onstage.

Tickets are available for sale online through the studio’s website.

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Mary Grace Granados, Special Contributor. Mary Grace (Metheny) Granados is a Dallas native and graduate of Southern Methodist University. She covers the cities of Grapevine and Colleyville and writes about luxury properties, food and lifestyle in Dallas.

marygrace.granados@dallasnews.com mggranadoss marygracegranadoss

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