The Twin Cities Ballet offers an updated, distinctly Minnesota twist on the classic ballet with a sensory-friendly performance.
Remember that scene in the Nutcracker ballet when Mother Ginger comes out with a bunch of clownish children dancing out from under her skirt? In the Twin Cities Ballet’s A Minnesota Nutcracker, Mother Ginger is a big Mississippi paddle boat, and the children are dancing fish. It’s the latest in tweaks to the scenery and costuming that put a decidedly Minnesota spin on the classic Russian ballet. In previous years, audiences have spotted the Stone Arch Bridge, Rice Park and the golden statue on the capitol building.
In addition to giving the ballet Minnesota roots, the Lakeville-based ballet company is also focused on offering a sensory-friendly performance of the ballet. This performance provides any age with sensory sensitivities the opportunity to experience the sensation of the Nutcracker with “relaxed theater rules,” including house lights on, open doors and a quiet zone. A social narrative is also available prior to the performance, so audience members can learn the elements of the ballet and know what to expect during the ballet. The performances are a part of the company’s core belief that dance is for everyone. —Macy Berendsen
A Minnesota Nutcracker; December 7–10, Ames Center, 12600 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville; twincitiesballet.org