First Nutcracker Designs Unveiled!

New opulent, whimsical look will take the stage in 2017

During a recent press conference, members of the Ballet West Artistic Staff unveiled a bevy of  renderings and 3-D models that show the design direction of the new production of Willam Christensen’s The Nutcracker, which will premiere in the winter of 2017. This major update was made possible by the announcement of a $2 million gift earlier this year from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation to enhance and enrich the physical production of Mr. C’s universally loved ballet.

With work well underway, Artistic Director Adam Sklute brought together the principals of the project to brief staff, community members, and the media on the updates. Michael Andrew Currey, Vice President of Artistic and Production Operations; John Wayne Cook, Scenic Designer; David Heuvel, Costume Production Director; and newly-announced lighting designer, Jennifer Tipton discussed their progress during the press conference.

New elements will still showcase the original choreography, while incorporating fanciful designs and special effects intended to take audiences on an even more dramatic, whimsical journey. For instance, Sklute announced that the iconic Christmas tree in Act One will grow wider and take on a 3-D effect that will truly show Clara shrinking in front of it. Also, Sklute referenced a new flying element that could whisk Clara away at the end of the show. One set piece that will not be changing is the grandfather clock, which is the only prop or set piece from Mr. C’s first Nutcracker production in Salt Lake. According to Sklute, “During his lifetime, Mr. C. frequently updated The Nutcracker to keep it fresh and alive, but he maintained the framework and charm of the story, which kept audiences coming back every year. Our intention is to keep the choreography exactly the same, while updating the physical production.”

Mr. C’s granddaughter, as well as Ballet West’s Director of Development, Sarah West also announced that the Company would soon be launching a campaign to allow the public to be personally invested in the new production of The Nutcracker. Some of the available opportunities will include naming rights of specific costumes, with the donor’s name sewn into the garment, or having a family’s name displayed on the back of set pieces. There will be a variety of ways for donors to be part of the history of The Nutcracker