José Mateo Ballet Theatre Takes A Different Approach To 'The Nutcracker'

Photo: Courtesy of José Mateo Ballet Theatre

Updated 11/20/23 2:37 p.m.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Rehearsals are ramping up for a ballet company in Cambridge, Mass.

The José Mateo Ballet Theatre has been putting on “The Nutcracker” for the last 35 years. Unlike other performances of the show, children take a much more active role in the performance.

“In other productions, a lot of the children are on stage and in costume, but they’re not really central to the performance,” said Libby Bullinger, the Nutcracker Children's Coordinator.

In addition to having more than 100 children, they have 18 professional dancers and even some parents. Bullinger said they have three fathers joining their children on stage for this year’s performance.

“We also have a ticket access program where we give out about 5,000 free tickets for people who typically wouldn’t be in ballet audiences,” said Bullinger.

For more than 30 years, the Community Ticket Access Program (CTAP) has "provided free tickets to disadvantaged children, seniors, and adults through nonprofit organizations serving those populations across Massachusetts," according to the José Mateo Ballet Theatre's website.

The show runs from Dec. 9 through Christmas Eve. Tickets can be purchased here.

Correction: A previous version incorrectly referred to the ballet company as the "José Mateo Theatre." It is called the "José Mateo Ballet Theatre." This version also corrects Libby Bullinger's title. She is the Nutcracker Children's Coordinator, not the choreographer.

WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@WBZSausville) reports.

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