A movie about Nutcracker could easily be a bumbling comedy or worse—a horror flick. As studio owners everywhere know, staging the holiday classic, for all its charm and tradition, presents an enormous undertaking that requires students, parents and staff to work together for the good of the ballet. (How many dance dads does it take to screw in a Christmas tree lightbulb?)
But the award-winning documentary Getting to the Nutcracker focuses on the part of tackling the notorious Nut that makes it all worth it: the passion and dedication of dancers and teachers. The film follows the creation of the ballet at the Marat Daukayev School of Ballet in Los Angeles, from auditions and castings through rehearsals and performance. Directed by Serene Meshel-Dillman (a former School of American Ballet student), the film also profiles dancers, ages 3 to 18, offering viewers a glimpse at the joys and sacrifices of pursuing a dance career.
And though it may not highlight the chaos and behind-the-scenes hijinks inherent in putting on this (or any) ballet, it still illustrates the point that Sugarplum season is no trivial occasion.
Getting to the Nutcracker is showing in select theaters this month. It will also be available on VOD and iTunes December 2.
Photo courtesy of Getting to the Nutcracker