One of my traditions during the holidays is to catch a performance of the Commonwealth Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker during my trips to New England. With large gatherings restricted this year due to COVID-19, the Commonwealth Ballet could not hold live performances this year, so they created a new version of its production and brought it online.
The Nutcracker en Masque is one-hour performance of the holiday classic set to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The dancers performed their roles separately, and thanks to video editing technology, they appear to be dancing together throughout the production. All of the dancers wear full, beautifully designed face masks, which remind me of the Mardi Gras masks I’ve seen in New Orleans.
Unlike the Commonwealth Ballet’s live performances of “The Nutcracker” at Regis College in Weston, “The Nutcracker en Masque” is narrated, and Herr Drosselmeyer, the toymaker, plays a larger role throughout.
Stream The Nutcracker en Masque at commonwealthballet.org/nutcracker through January 31.
Read my reviews of two live Commonwealth Ballet performances, The Nutcracker and The Secret Garden, at “Commonwealth Ballet’s Nutcracker a fun Christmas tradition“.