Ballet San Antonio Presents: ‘The Nutcracker’ 2023

Take a look behind the curtain, as Ballet San Antonio principal dancers get ready for this years ‘The Nutcracker’ at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts

SAN ANTONIO – There is something nostalgic about watching “The Nutcracker” as a kick-off to the holiday season.

Ballet San Antonio brings the timeless story with 25 professional ballet dancers and 100 local children with live music by the classical music institute’s orchestra.

“It’s so magical, the very first time you see your name on the cast list it’s like I’ve made it,” Sophie Bertolini said. Bertolini is a principal dancer with Ballet San Antonio and is playing the Sugar Plum Fairy. “It feels like that because “The Nutcracker” has been around forever and it’s something that everyone, it’s a tradition,” she said.

A tradition that Michael Agudelo takes to heart.

“I have been watching ‘The Nutcracker’ since I was a little kid,” Agudelo said. Agudelo is a principal with Ballet San Antonio and he is playing the role of the Nutcracker this year. “I would watch ‘The Nutcracker’ and I would watch that over and over as a kid. So I guess what’s special about that for me is that I can kind of emulate my hero on stage again and all I can do is hope I can inspire the audience the same way it inspired me.”

Brenna Nulligan-Olsen said dancing “The Nutcracker” never gets old and that she still gets nervous.

“You have the curtain come up, you feel the cold air come in from the theater and that music starts okay here it comes, you are instantly awake and ready to go, sometimes a little too excited to do it, but it’s a wonderful experience,” said Nulligan-Olsen who is also a Principal with Ballet San Antonio and playing the role of Clara this year.

“I really love to picture that little girl who is seeing this “Nutcracker” for the first time and wanting to become a ballerina someday because of what they saw on stage,” Nulligan-Olsen said. “So that’s definitely something that inspires me and motivates me to continue to just bring the best that I can to the stage.”

Agudelo said this specific “Nutcracker” here in San Antonio has the most lifts and throws in any other “Nutcracker” performance possibly in the world.

“We have over 100 lifts and no other ‘Nutcracker’ has that many, maybe no other ballet has that many and it’s such a feat of stamina and strength.” Dancers work hard all year getting ready for this choreography, Bertolini said she thinks about it all the time.

“Oh my gosh, I dream about it. It wakes me up at night actually,” she said. “I dream about it, I’m like going over choreography in my head, yeah I think that’s pretty normal.”

You can see Ballet San Antonio perform “The Nutcracker” at the Tobin Center December 1st-10th. There is even a sensory-friendly performance that is free on Dec. 5th at 10 am. For ticket information on all shows click here.

About the Author

Sarah Acosta is a weekend Good Morning San Antonio anchor and a general assignments reporter at KSAT12. She joined the news team in April 2018 as a morning reporter for GMSA and is a native South Texan.

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