allegro: A PUBLICATION OF THE SCHOOL OF AMERICAN BALLET
Edited by THOMAS W. SCHOFF
Photographs by MARY ELLEN MARK
When George Balanchine choreographed his sumptuous version of “The Nutcracker” in 1954, he used dozens of students from the School of American Ballet to augment his New York City Ballet dancers. Nearly five decades later the intrinsic presence of children in the production - in roles appropriate to their age and ability - is one of its most palpable pleasures. The canny choreographer, however, knew that casting children would have an advantageous side effect of teaching the young dancers valuable lessons for professional life, lessons that he himself had learned as a boy dancing in St. Petersburg productions. "We learned very early what it was to be part of a theater; the theater became a home to us, a natural place to be."