Feature Articles

Universal Ballet Competition keeps ‘Nutcracker’ tradition alive with virtual production

Universal Ballet Competition's 'The Virtual Nutcracker'.
Universal Ballet Competition's 'The Virtual Nutcracker'.

Universal Ballet Competition, the ballet competition known to connect intermediate and advanced students to international training, scholarships and professional opportunities, will host an international Nutcracker competition that will culminate with a full-length virtual production featuring selected studios and dancers from all over the world, October 19-December 19. 

For audiences, The Nutcracker has become a family tradition that ushers in the holiday season. For dancers of all ages, it has become a rite of passage, giving young children their very first taste of performing, and older dancers, their chance to move through the ballet hierarchy year after year. While theaters remain closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak and Sugar Plum Fairies everywhere sidelined from season cancellations, the Universal Ballet Competition is committed to keeping the magic of the season alive. 

Universal Ballet Competition. Photo by Matthew Carby.
Universal Ballet Competition.
Photo by Matthew Carby.

Calling for studios and dancers everywhere to submit footage of scenes and divertissements from the celebrated and beloved ballet, a panel of esteemed judges will select their favorites, and present them as a cohesive and virtual production to stream on December 19. The call for submissions will be open from October 19-November 29, with each submission spotlighted online December 12 and 13, in Act 1 and 2, respectively. The company will announce the judges’ top three submissions per scene on December 14, culminating in an edited full collaborative virtual performance to stream on December 19. The competition is open to all ages and all levels. The winning studios that are selected to participate in the Virtual Nutcracker Competition performance will have their studio name announced to showcase their studio during the final production on December 19.

“As schools and ballet companies continue to cancel their Nutcracker performances for the 2020 season, we knew we had to do something to keep this important tradition alive for dancers,” explains Lisette Salgado-Lucas, co-founder of Universal Ballet Competition. 

Marissa Mattingly at Universal Ballet Competition. Photo by Miranda Jade.
Marissa Mattingly at
Universal Ballet Competition.
Photo by Miranda Jade.

“Whether dancers choose to learn a new solo or ensemble piece with their studio for submission, or provide footage from a previous production, this is the best and safest way to connect dancers, teachers, choreographers and audiences together to celebrate this beloved ballet during a year that could use a little extra holiday cheer,” adds Co-Founder David Lucas. 

Guest judges who will help to curate the final production will look at technique, choreography, performance quality, staging, costuming and innovation. While entries can be submitted via video of rehearsal or performance in any setting, performances in full makeup and costumes are encouraged. 

Video submissions will be accepted from October 18-November 27 for dancers of all ages. Each entry is $45, and multiple entry pricing is available. To submit an entry, visit www.universalballetcompetition.com.

There is no fee to watch the stream of The Virtual Nutcracker and can be viewed at www.universalballetcompetition.comThe Virtual Nutcracker is sponsored by Só Dança and Veritas Farms.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top