Each year families fill the Winspear Opera House and Bass Performance Hall to watch Texas Ballet Theater‘s (TBT) production of Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker. The favorite never fails to set the tone for the holidays.
But not this year. The nonprofit ballet company has made the difficult decision to cancel the ballet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company announced the news in a press statement today, saying organization leaders found it “impossible to effectively prepare for and perform the production with social distancing and other safety measures in place.”
Dancers are on their regularly scheduled summer break until Aug. 24. The press release said once dancers return, TBT will follow COVID-19 prevention protocols reviewed by health and safety professionals, peer ballet organizations across the country and TBT leadership.
The protocols prevent dancers from partnering or dancing within six feet of each other. The company said it’s unable to rehearse for The Nutcracker, the season-opener, with the protocols in place.
The guidelines for keeping the audience at a safe social distance would also reduce the number of tickets that could be sold in both Dallas and Fort Worth venues.
“Due to the magnitude of sets, costumes and special effects, the company cannot recoup the expenses of its largest production of the season without its regular audiences,” the press release said.
The Nutcracker was scheduled to take place for Nov. 26 through Dec. 6 at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas, and Dec. 11-27 at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth.
“Bringing The Nutcracker to life requires large numbers of dancers, crew and staff to be in close proximity with each other as early as September, which causes serious concerns amid our public health landscape,” said executive director Vanessa Logan in a statement. “We will still connect with our community this holiday season, just in a different way.”
Texas Ballet Theater said it will continue to employ its dancers and add new programs to engage audiences for the holiday season.
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