It’s Nutcracker season and that means months of hard work to pull off the perfect performance. The Nutcracker is a timeless ballet that has captured the hearts of audiences for over a century. The ballet has become a beloved holiday tradition in many parts of the world and has had a significant impact on the art form of ballet itself, but as dancers we need to be prepared for anything to happen once we hit the stage.
Below are 10 of the craziest occurrences we could find online that have happened during a Nutcracker performance. It just goes to show you can never prepare for everything.
- During a performance, one of the dancers’ tutus caught on fire from a nearby candle, but fortunately, the dancer was able to quickly extinguish the flames and continue the performance.
- One year, a live horse was brought on stage for the famous “Russian Dance” scene, but it ended up getting spooked and running off stage, leaving the dancers to finish the scene without their equine co-star.
- In a particularly memorable performance, a snowstorm outside caused a power outage in the theater, leaving the dancers to perform the second half of the ballet in near darkness.
- During a performance of the “Waltz of the Flowers”, one of the dancers accidentally kicked off her pointe shoe, which went flying across the stage and nearly hit one of the musicians in the orchestra pit.
- In one performance, a young child who was playing the part of Clara got so nervous during the finale that she vomited all over the stage, causing the other dancers to slip and slide as they tried to finish the dance.
- In a particularly bizarre incident, a mouse ran onto the stage during the battle scene between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King, causing the dancers to improvise a new, comedic ending to the fight.
- One year, the Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu caught on the scenery during the grand pas de deux, causing her to fall off the stage and into the orchestra pit.
- During the “Chinese Dance” scene, one of the dancers accidentally knocked over one of the bamboo poles holding up the set, causing the entire backdrop to collapse.
- In a particularly surreal moment, a group of protesters burst into the theater during a performance, chanting anti-ballet slogans and disrupting the show.
- During a performance of the “Dance of the Snowflakes”, a freak snowstorm blew in through an open door, covering the stage and audience in real snow and causing the performance to be canceled.
We love the Nutcracker for its ability to bring people together and create a sense of community. It has become a rite of passage for many young dancers to perform in a production of The Nutcracker, and it has helped to cultivate a new generation of ballet dancers.
This list also reminds us that no matter what happens, the SHOW MUST GO ON!
Enjoy your Nutcracker season and feel free to share any crazy stories you have with us.