HOUSTON, TEXAS— Houston Ballet and the Houston Museum of Natural Science are joining forces to present a condensed version of one of Houston’s most cherished holiday productions, The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker: Larger than Life will play on the museum’s big-screen during the duration of this unique and unprecedented 2020 holiday season.
The annual production of Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker is a tradition for countless Houston families and ballet aficionados, a key event on their Bayou City holiday calendar. COVID-19 and its associated precautions have not made in-theater performances possible, but the soul of the city’s art community cannot be denied. Houston Ballet and HMNS hope that they can still offer the daring swordfights, dancing dolls and Sugar Plum Fairy of the vintage tale like you’ve never seen them before in crystal clear resolution at the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre. Make it a part of your holiday tradition beginning Dec. 5 through Jan. 3, 2021. Members see it first Dec. 4.
“The museum is elated to be able to bring a sense of normalcy to Houstonians of all ages with this presentation of The Nutcracker: Larger than Life on our giant screen,” says HMNS President and CEO Joel A. Bartsch. “In such a tumultuous and historic year, it’s important to continue traditions, even if they look a little different.”
Patrons will be able to enjoy the film inside the museum’s newly-renovated theater—where every seat is a front row seat for the most famous and widely watched ballet. Operating under strict COVID-19 protocols and cleaning procedures since the fall, the theatre offers state-of-the-art, 4K digital projection producing incredible images of unsurpassed size nearly 8-stories high, a six-track sound system, and new deluxe seating.
The video presentation offers a unique view of The Nutcracker, showing the level of artistry and poise that goes into every second of the performance in a way that few are lucky to see so closely.
“We are thrilled to partner with HMNS to present The Nutcracker on the big screen,” says Jim Nelson, Houston Ballet Executive Director. “Even though we’re not onstage, we’re excited to share some larger than life holiday magic with our community.”
Houston Ballet Artistic Director Stanton Welch AM’s version of this timeless classic is a larger-than-life, Houston-approved spectacle of sight, sound, and dancing prowess. Coming up on nearly 20 years in Houston, Welch has redefined ballet in the city for a generation.
“The Nutcracker is for everyone, transcending age and culture. It’s a tradition of warmth and togetherness that we take great pride in sharing with our community,” says Welch.
Not only will this special engagement satisfy Houston’s many seasoned ballet patrons, but it will also provide a convenient way for ballet novices to experience an iconic piece of Houston history.
Admission to The Nutcracker: Larger Than Life is $15 for members; $18 for adults, children and seniors (60+). Runtime: 45 minutes. Guests can purchase tickets online at www.hmns.org or in person at the HMNS Box Office or kiosks.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science—one of the nation’s most-heavily attended museums—is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, including the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium and George Observatory, and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Houston Museum has something to delight every age group. With such diverse and extraordinary offerings, a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, located at 5555 Hermann Park Drive in the heart of the Museum District, is always an adventure.
ABOUT HOUSTON BALLET
With more than 50 years of rich history, Houston Ballet has evolved into a 61-dancer Company with a budget of $33.9 million and an endowment of $79.2 million (as of June 2019), making it the country’s fifth largest ballet company. Its Center for Dance is a $46.6 million state-of-the-art performance space that opened in April 2011 and remains the largest professional dance facility in America. Houston Ballet’s reach is global, touring in renowned theaters in Dubai, London,
Paris, Moscow, Spain, Montréal, Ottawa, Melbourne, New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and more.
Beyond its stage presence, Houston Ballet maintains a strong foothold in continuing to foster a love for dance in future generations. Its Education and Community Engagement program reaches more than 70,000 individuals in the Houston area annually. Houston Ballet Academy trains more than 1,000 students every year, producing more than 50 percent of the elite athletes that comprise Houston Ballet’s current Company.
For more information on Houston Ballet, visit houstonballet.org.