Atlanta Ballet cancels December production of “The Nutcracker”
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Atlanta, GA — After having to cancel the March and May programs of its 19|20 season and the opening program of its 20|21 season due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta Ballet announced that its December production of “The Nutcracker” by Yuri Possokhov will also be canceled, according to a press release. This is only the second season that Atlanta Ballet will be without a Nutcracker production in 61 years – the first being when the Company instead performed Sleeping Beauty in December 1968. Atlanta Ballet tentatively pushes its revised 20|21 performance season to February 2021.
“We are devastated to have to share this news with our longstanding, loyal patrons and the new audiences that would be joining us for The Nutcracker’s first run of performances at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, but the safety of the community and our artists is paramount,” says Arturo Jacobus, President & CEO of Atlanta Ballet. “When the required lead time to mount this highly technical and physically large production is coupled with the uncertainty surrounding public health come December, the obstacles are simply insurmountable. We can’t wait to see all the patrons, ballet fans and supporters that help make up our Atlanta Ballet family in the spring, and look forward to a glorious gala debut of The Nutcracker at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in December of 2021.”
Original projections for this year’s production of The Nutcracker, presented by The Carlos Family in Honor of Thalia N. Carlos, were based on selling 52,000 seats, approximately 65% of available capacity at Cobb Energy Centre, earning total revenue of $3.6 million, resulting in a net positive of $1.6 million to the bottom line. “While The Nutcracker sells more tickets and generates more revenue for Atlanta Ballet than any other program, it is also the most costly production to present on stage,” said Elizabeth Adams, Chair of Atlanta Ballet’s Board of Trustees. “Even if the venue were open and patrons were to feel confident about gathering indoors in large numbers – which is an unlikely scenario – for Atlanta Ballet to prepare, market and perform its extraordinary production of The Nutcracker with the measures required to keep its artists and audiences safe would result in a huge financial loss for the organization.”
“We are honored to know that The Nutcracker is a beloved holiday tradition for so many families in our community, but we have to make the decision that is in the best interest of our artists, staff and audiences,” said Gennadi Nedvigin, Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director. “But rest assured – Nutcracker fans will still get their fix this holiday season. While we won’t be able to gather together in the theatre, we are in the process of developing new approaches for audiences to experience the magic of The Nutcracker in a new, perhaps virtual, way.”
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