The Nutcracker, a holiday classic

John Lyles and Thomas Like

“The Nutcracker” is a story that has been around for years and has become a major part of the winter holidays for many families. In addition, the Nutcracker has played a large role in our community by involving a wide range of ages in the annual production put on by the IU Ballet Theater. Despite the university’s involvement, the cast is stars more than just college students. It is made up of members of the community as young as ten years old. There are even a couple of South Panthers in the play as well.

Senior Grace May has been dancing ever since she was little and joined the pre-college ballet theatre when she was seven years old. 

“I’ve been in the pre-college [ballet theatre] for 11 years… and when the opportunity arose to audition [for the Nutcracker] I decided to do it” said May. When asked why she’s been a part of the same show for so long, May explained that it’s because “it’s a holiday tradition and it’s fun to be a part of the magic.” 

Junior David Baumann is another South student that is very involved with the production. He has been a part of the show since he was seven years old, similar to May, and recalls being cast as a prologue child and a mouse his first year. Baumann has been dancing since the age of four, and attributes his interest in dance to his sister. “I started to dance because of my sister who started before me, I thought it was really beautiful so I decided to do it as well,” commented Baumann. 

Both Baumann and May share not only a love for dance, but also a love for the Nutcracker. Despite being involved in the play for so long year after year, both still find it charming and have favorite scenes. Baumann stated that his favorite part of the play is the snow scene because of “the music and the realistic effects of the snow falling on the stage.” On the other hand, May stated that she loves the Arabian scene because “it shows the athletic side of ballet.” 

The Nutcracker is a tradition for both those who go and those who participate. The show provides something familiar that is still exciting, and is a holiday tradition many enjoy.