Now celebrating its 27th year, The Nashville Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, known as Nashville’s Nutcracker, is a Nashville Christmas tradition. If you’ve been a Nashvillian for any length of time, or have visited during the holidays, it’s likely you’ve seen it at TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall, maybe a number of times. You might think you’re fairly familiar with it. But how well do you really know it? It we asked you to guess how many pairs of ballet pointe shoes the cast of dancers go through during the show’s run, what would you say? How about how many people see the show each year? Or the number of Nashville Symphony musicians in the orchestra? We were curious about these numbers, so we asked Nashville Ballet PR coordinator, Lauren McKirgan, to pull some stats for us. The results are fascinating, and sure to make our next visit to the show that much more enjoyable, not to mention making us the most interesting person at the next holiday party. We invite you to commit some to memory and amaze your friends, and get your tickets to the show now!
Nashville’s Nutcracker by the Numbers (2016 Edition)
1989: The year Nashville Ballet premiered The Nutcracker in Music City.
2008: The year The Nutcracker was reinvented as Nashville’s Nutcracker. Set at Tennessee’s Centennial Exposition in 1898, the production features new sets, costumes, Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling’s original choreography and on-stage magic tricks.
251: The number of children from School of Nashville Ballet and the community-at-large who join all 47 members of Nashville Ballet’s professional company and second company on stage. This year marks the largest youth cast in Nashville Ballet history.
It takes 5 semis to transport the Nashville’s Nutcracker scenery and costumes from Nashville Ballet’s 12,000-square-foot warehouse (where they’re stored all year) to TPAC’s Jackson Hall.
Prior to the first rehearsal at TPAC, the production set-up takes 7 days and approximately 1,500 labor hours from the first truck arrival to the first dancer on stage.
There are approximately 90 professional dancer costumes and 77 youth cast costumes.
It takes 17 stage crew members and 10 wardrobe crew members to run the production for each show.
It takes about 8 solid work weeks (40 days) to install and prepare the production elements of Nashville’s Nutcracker prior to opening night. Once the production begins TPAC, it takes roughly 155 hours to keep the show up and running for all 14 performances.
The show’s iconic Christmas tree grows to 30 feet on stage right before the audiences’ eyes.
Nashville’s Nutcracker requires about 300-320 hours of rehearsal for the professional company. The youth cast spends about 40-60 hours rehearsing, depending on the role.
2,500: Members of the community who attend Nashville’s Nutcracker for free through Nashville Ballet’s Holiday Magic program each year.
Number of people who attend Nashville’s Nutcracker every year: Approximately 20,000-25,000
Nashville’s Nutcracker features 6 casts of dancers alternating roles throughout the performance run, including 4 Sugar Plum Fairies, 5 Snow Queens and 5 Dew Drop Fairies.
60: Number of Nashville Symphony musicians that perform live at each performance.
Pointe shoes typically last less than 1 week. That means that during the run of Nashville’s Nutcracker, Nashville Ballet company dancers go through about 40 pairs. At $75 a pair, this equals roughly $3,000!
55: Gallons of snow that fall on stage throughout the entire run of Nashville’s Nutcracker.
Nashville’s Ballet’s Nashville Nutcracker runs through December 23 at Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Jackson Hall.