Nutcracker coming back to Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A Christmas classic is turning into a chance for Rochester to take another big step back to normal.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rochester City Ballet are dressing up for their final rehearsal of the nutcracker. The show was called off last year because of COVID. But this year, the performers are thrilled to dance back into action.

“The orchestra and I have been preparing since last night, and the dancers for quite a long time before that,” said Tara Simoncic, guest conductor at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

After nearly a year and half intermission, the Nutcracker performance is taking center stage once again.

“Everything… nerves, excitement, joy. The joy of getting back in front of an audience. The joy of reestablishing this collaboration with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rochester City Ballet,” said Robert Gardner, artistic director at the Rochester City Ballet.

The Rochester City Ballet and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra will have their 21st performance at the Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre this year. The performance has been 22 years in the making, but COVID caused a lapse year.

“People really need this right now. They really want to get back to some sense of normalcy of celebrating the holiday. With this beautiful tradition of the Nutcracker with live music with the RPO, nothing could be better,” Gardner said. “To hear that applause, to hear that wonder in the audience when the curtain goes up on this beautiful ballet is exciting.”

“It feels wonderful. It feels like home again. It feels like the holidays, so we’re all excited and enthusiastic,” Simoncic said.
There will be six performances of the Nutcracker at the Kodak Hall of Eastman Theatre during the remainder of this month. You can view the schedule and buy tickets here.