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Colorado Ballet cancels 60th annual 'Nutcracker'

Ticketing revenue lost from 'The Nutcracker' and 'Giselle' is projected to be between $3.5M and $4M.

DENVER — Colorado Ballet has announced changes to its 60th anniversary season, including the cancellation of its beloved holiday season production of The Nutcracker.

All 2020 performances of The Nutcracker are canceled, along with the 2021 production of Ballet MasterWorks. Giselle, originally slated to take place in October 2020, will replace Ballet MasterWorks in spring of 2021.

The Nutcracker was scheduled to open in November with new costumes and sets for Colorado Ballet's 60th season.

> Above video: Colorado Ballet to update The Nutcracker in 2021.

"It is with a very heavy heart that we must announce the cancellation of The Nutcracker this season, as well as Ballet MasterWorks in 2021, which will be replaced with our postponed season opening production of Giselle,” said Colorado Ballet’s Artistic Director Gil Boggs. “The safety of our dancers, staff and audiences is our highest priority, and we want to ensure that everyone who experiences Colorado Ballet’s in-person performances in the future is able to do so safely. We have worked with all constituencies to evaluate every possible option. After many months of discussions and monitoring the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have unfortunately been forced to realize that we cannot safely conduct performances at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for the remainder of 2020.”

Colorado Ballet’s 60th anniversary season will now feature three productions instead of five: The Great Gatsby, The Wizard of Oz and Giselle

Credit: Colorado Ballet

"This is certainly not the way we hoped to open our 60th Anniversary Season,” stated Boggs. "The Nutcracker was our first production 60 years ago, so it’s very difficult for us to imagine a holiday season without it. We were looking forward to unveiling new sets and costumes for our 60th anniversary performance, but now hope to unveil them for The Nutcracker in 2021. We are extremely grateful to all our patrons and supporters for helping to build Colorado Ballet into the strong and vital organization it is today. We will get through these difficult times together, and we will be back."

Ticketing revenue lost from The Nutcracker and Giselle is projected to be between $3.5 million and $4 million.

Colorado Ballet has announced the launch of its Relief and Recovery Fund with a fundraising goal of $3 million. The fund will help cover a significant portion of the loss of ticketed revenue, helping the ballet to retain its world-class dancers and staff and emerge from this crisis as the strong company it has become over the past 60 years, according to Colorado Ballet.

"This difficult announcement does not denote a final curtain call, but rather a prolonged intermission," said Boggs. "We remain committed to creating dance throughout this challenging time in any way possible. We believe that the arts are more important now than ever and will continue to fulfill our mission of presenting exceptional classical ballet and contemporary dance through performances, training, education and community engagement while inspiring and growing an increasingly diverse audience."

Colorado Ballet’s 60th anniversary season

  • The Great Gatsby (February 5 –7, 2021)
  • The Wizard of Oz (March 5 –14, 2021)
  • Giselle (April 9 –18, 2021)

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