Five Questions on the Brown-Forman Nutcracker

Five Questions on the Brown-Forman Nutcracker
Robert Curran (Source: Provided photo)
Robert Curran (Source: Provided photo)
In the Louisville Ballet's Nutcracker, the snow scene at the end of Act I is magical. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
In the Louisville Ballet's Nutcracker, the snow scene at the end of Act I is magical. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One of my favorite things to do over the holiday season is take my boys to see the Louisville Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker. It is filled with beauty, drama, and energy.

The Louisville Ballet has been presenting versions of The Nutcracker for almost all of its 65 year history.

The Brown-Forman Nutcracker will be showing at the Kentucky Center until Dec. 23.

Right now at the Frazier Museum, Nutcracker: The Exhibition is on display with information about the show and pieces from past productions.

To put on the Brown-Forman Nutcracker is quite a feat.

It takes approximately 40 dancers, 4 dance coaches, 108 children, 50 musicians, 20 parent volunteers, 30 regular volunteers, 15 administrative staff, 12 stagehands, 6 wardrobe/costume staff, 5 box office staff, and the Louisville Ballet's Creative Director Robert Curran.

Robert danced professionally for years in Australia before joining the Louisville Ballet as Creative Director.

Here are my five questions with Robert Curran:

1) How many times have you seen The Nutcracker?

It hurts my head to try and work it out!!! Hundreds and hundreds of times??

2) What's your favorite scene?

My favorite scene is definitely the Snow Scene at the end of Act I. The music is extraordinary, the theatrics are magical, and the dancing is always thrilling. It is the perfect way to end the first half of the story!

3) What's the most difficult scene from a dancer's perspective?

The most difficult scene is probably the Party Scene in Act I, because there is so much story to convey to the audience and usually there is not enough dancing. Our Brown-Forman Nutcracker does a spectacular job meeting this challenge with just the right balance of dancing and story-telling, and of course plenty of magic!

4) Why do you think The Nutcracker has been a success for so many years?

The Nutcracker wasn't actually much of a success in its native Russia when it was first presented. It wasn't until it made its way to the United States that it really took off. I think that the spirit of this great nation, with openness and acceptance and opportunity for all, welcomed this immigr ant production much as it welcomed immigr ants of all kinds. Much like myself, all the way from Australia!! The story of imagination and creativity and opportunity resonates so strongly today, as strongly as it did when it first arrived in the United States, and serves to inspire future generations to keep this spirit alive.

5) What roles have you played in The Nutcracker in your professional dancing years?

The Nutcracker isn't an annual tradition in Australia. The holiday season occurs in the summer, so the snow never sticks! So I have only danced the roles of the Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Cavalier, and mostly with companies other than The Australian Ballet! I have been fortunate to dance these roles in the United States, in Denmark, in Japan, in the United Kingdom as well as in Australia.

For tickets to see the Louisville Ballet's rendition of The Nutcracker, click or tap here.

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