In an intriguing move this holiday season, Ballet Austin has chosen 16 community leaders to play the iconic Mother Ginger in their 61st annual "The Nutcracker" production. The ensemble includes five local mayors and significant figures from the arts, public service, and business sectors in Austin. CultureMap Austin has reported on this innovative blend of gender-bending and community engagement in the festive event.
"The Nutcracker"'s Mother Ginger is a character customarily performed 'en travesti,' which typically entails a male performer in drag. Ballet Austin has taken an innovative twist, inviting leaders of any gender who are recognized within the Austin community. These performers will engage in Mother Ginger's divertissement, which includes her dramatic entrance under a vast satin skirt. "For her divertissement, she is rolled on stage atop a platform covered by her white and red satin skirt. We are honored to have dignitaries, business leaders, healthcare professionals, and first responders from the growing Central Texas region celebrate this holiday tradition on stage with the community" said Stephen Mills as per CBS Austin report.
The performances are scheduled to take place from December 2 until December 23 at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, showcasing the choreography by Mills and Tchaikovsky's celebrated score performed live by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. The cast list for Mother Ginger includes recognizable names such as Jennifer Guthrie, Ballet Austin board member; Ashley Goudeau, Anchor and Political Director at KVUE Austin; and The Honorable Kirk Watson, Mayor of Austin.
Despite the size of "The Nutcracker" production in Austin, it continues to promote strong community involvement and arts appreciation in the region. Founded over six decades ago, Ballet Austin engages the community with original artworks, classical ballet education, and health wellness programs.
Attendees can purchase tickets, ranging in price from $15 to $125, from the Ballet Austin website. Groups of 20 or more have been advised to contact Ballet Austin's Ticketing Services Team.