‘Twas the Season: Keep Audiences Coming Back Post-Nutcracker

Kids and families love Nutcracker performances (btw, did you see who won the 13th Annual Goldstar National Nutcracker Award?)!

Photo Credit: Danielle Hirabayashi for Long Beach Ballet

But now that the season is over, how can we keep families coming back?

Dance Magazine‘s Rebecca Ritzel highlights how some companies “are adding kid-friendly performances to court the same audiences who buy Nutcracker tickets.” And some companies are including pre-show activities, like crafts and demonstrations. Here are a few of Ritzel’s examples:

  • In 2012, Ballet West artistic director Adam Sklute debuted the Family Classics series: annual performances of narrated story ballets that clock in around 90 minutes, including intermission.
  • In North Carolina, Charlotte Ballet reaches out to local parenting blogs and magazines to promote performances, including family matinees. Their challenge: Sell tickets to shows that don’t always feature student performers or princesses.
  • Virginia’s Charlottesville Ballet has built on the popularity of its Nutcracker by offering a Father Daughter Valentine Dance, February matinees that include short performances, cookie decorating and father-daughter duets.

While Ritzel writes, “The Nutcracker generates revenue to fund the remainder of many companies’ seasons,” she also points to the positive benefits overall of family friendly performances.

Ritzel quotes Sasha Janes, resident choreographer of Charlotte Ballet: “The more we can expose kids to ballet, and the arts in general, the better off we’re going to be as a society.”

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