Chris Van Allsburg To Create New Design For GR Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’

03-25-14 Grand Rapids Ballet press conference

Press conference announcing national collaboration for the Grand Rapids Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker.’

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 25, 2014) — “The Nutcracker,” long a holiday staple on the annual Grand Rapids Ballet schedule, will be transformed through designs by famous artist and Grand Rapids native Chris Van Allsburg and sets built by Tony Award-winning Eugene Lee. The announcement was made at a Tuesday morning news conference.

Van Allsburg wrote and created art for The Polar Express, Zathura, Jumanji, and other books. Lee is noted for his work on the sets of Wicked and Sweeney Todd.

Choreography will be designed by Val Caniparoli, who has been associated for decades with the San Francisco Ballet, among many others.

The Grand Rapids production of ‘The Nutcracker’ therefore is becoming a national collaboration of artists. The production will be under the direction of the GR Ballet’s artistic director, Patricia Barker.

The new ‘Nutcracker’ will premiere on December 11, 2014, at a benefit for Hospice of Michigan. Show dates are December 12-14 and December 19-21. All performances, including the benefit, will be at DeVos Performance Hall.

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