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Behind the Scenes at PNB’s ‘The Nutcracker’ Performance

George Balanchine’s iconic production was acquired by Pacific Northwest Ballet in 2015.

December 20, 2016

The last leaves slowly departing from the region’s trees and loss of daylight hours give way to sparkling lights and decorations across the Pacific Northwest as the holiday season arrives every year without fail. 

Since 1975, the Pacific Northwest Ballet has dazzled lovers of choreographic storytelling and holiday tradition with The Nutcracker, in one of its many forms. While PNB’s storied history with the ballet began with Lew Christensen’s more than 40 years ago and then Stowell and Sendak’s rendition for 32 consecutive seasons, it acquired George Balanchine’s iconic production in 2015. New designs by renowned children’s author and illustrator, Ian Falconer, move Balanchine’s version forward into a post-millennial era while staging of the production by Judith Fugate, Peter Boal and Garielle Whittle ensures that the heritage of this famous ballet — dating back to 1892 — keeps its feet firmly planted in its rich history.

KCTS 9 spent an evening backstage with the dancers and production team documenting what is not often seen by attendees at one of the many performances.


Matt Mills McKnight

Matt Mills McKnight is a visual storyteller and journalist who covers a variety of political, social and environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest. He enjoys finding stories in his own South Seattle neighborhood, as well as researching projects throughout the rest of the city and region that he believes will inspire thought and discussion among viewers. Matt joined the KCTS 9 team in December, 2016. Previously he was a photo editor at MSN News and a freelance photojournalist covering many of the region's major news stories for a variety of news organizations.

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