The Night Before the Nutcracker (American Ballet Theatre)
- USD 6.99
- USD 6.99
Get a front-row seat and experience the excitement of opening night as young dancers prepare for a performance of The Nutcracker. This festive holiday picture book, created in partnership with American Ballet Theatre, is a perfect gift for young readers and dance fans.
’Twas the night before The Nutcracker and, sleepless in their beds,
these budding ballet dancers are rehearsing in their heads.
Children who dream of dancing in The Nutcracker will love this magical illustrated holiday story, told in the tradition of "The Night Before Christmas." Four young girls and boys experience the thrills of auditions, rehearsals, costume fittings, and finally the big event: opening night! It's a behind-the-scenes peek that will delight young dancers.
An afterword with original costume illustrations by Tony Award winner Richard Hudson makes this keepsake picture book both aspirational and informative.
In this performance-based picture book published in partnership with the American Ballet Theatre, Allman views the Christmas ballet classic through the lens of the young ballet students dancing it. Embracing gentle parody (" 'Twas the night before The Nutcracker and, sleepless in their beds,/ these budding ballet dancers are rehearsing in their heads"), the rhyming lines revisit the kids' process—including auditions, costume fittings, and dress rehearsals—"till the burst of joy and jitters/ when a stagehand hollers ‘Places!' " During the Nutcracker recounting that follows, Swaney shows the troupe of dancers, portrayed in a range of skin tones and with doll-like features, as a tapestry of costumes and gestures. Interest peaks as backstage scenes show stagehands sweeping the snow away and Mother Ginger, standing on stilts, hiding children beneath voluminous skirts. It's a double bill, introducing both the traditional story and the experiences of its child dancers. Costume illustrations from a 2010 performance conclude. Ages 3–7.