Nashville Ballet’s Televised Premiere of Nashville’s Nutcracker

Nashville Ballet, in partnership with Nashville’s CBS affiliate NewsChannel 5, will present a televised premiere of Nashville’s Nutcracker Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. The full-length, televised performance, which will feature an introduction and narration by former Tennessee Titan Eddie George, will replace the previously scheduled in-theater production at TPAC’s Jackson Hall out of an abundance of caution amid COVID-19. “For the past 12 years, we have brought the community together to celebrate the holiday season with Nashville’s Nutcracker,” said Nashville Ballet Artistic Director Paul Vasterling. “While we can’t celebrate in person this year, the televised performance will allow families and friends to safely continue their holiday traditions with us while also providing the unique opportunity to bring the transformative power of dance to hundreds of thousands of Tennessee residents to begin new ones.”

Attracting more than 30,000 attendees each December, Nashville Ballet will create a made-for-television production of Nashville’s Nutcracker for the first time in company history. The two-hour performance will feature creative ways to engage audiences (such as George’s introduction and narration) as they take a sparkling—and safe, socially distant—journey through the Land of the Sweets and Music City’s past. “The holiday season just isn’t complete without Nashville’s Nutcracker,” said Lyn Plantinga, Vice President and General Manager at NewsChannel 5. “Nashville’s Nutcracker puts a special spin on the classic tale by incorporating our city’s iconic landmarks, characters, and history. Our partnership with Nashville Ballet allows us to bring this experience into our viewers’ living rooms for the first time. It’s a special holiday gift for our community as we all navigate a new way to celebrate this season.”

Nashville Ballet completed filming for the televised premiere within its 12,000-square-foot warehouse in early October on a sound stage that was specifically constructed for this event. Under continued consultation with a team of trusted medical advisors, close collaboration with the Metro Nashville Public Health Department, and guidance from the CDC and Tennessee Department of Health, Nashville Ballet instituted numerous policies to ensure the process was completed in the safest way possible. This included daily rapid tests, weekly tests, daily temperature and symptom checks, a mandatory mask requirement at all times while in the facility (with the exception of a dancer actively filming), enhanced filtration measures to upgrade the existing HVAC system, social distancing, cleanings, hand sanitizing, and more. Nashville Ballet also instituted assigned pods during all rehearsals. In addition to limiting the amount of dancers present in each studio, this included creating 8-foot squares taped onto the floors to maintain appropriate social distancing.

In addition to the televised premiere, NewsChannel 5 will present a unique behind-the-scenes special to provide coveted access into the making of Nashville Ballet’s holiday classic. The special will offer a sneak peek into Nashville’s Nutcracker rehearsals with its professional company dancers, a look into the glittering set design, interviews with beloved characters, and more. The televised premiere of Nashville’s Nutcracker was sponsored in part by PNC Bank and will air Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, at 7 p.m. CT. To tune in, watch on NewsChannel 5 (WTVF Nashville), NewsChannel 5+, or the WTVF app that can be found on Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Amazon Alexa, and Google Play.