Every Christmas season, The Nutcracker Ballet is performed in cities all over the world. We love the timeless story, but what does it really take to produce this ballet each year?
The documentary film Getting to The Nutcracker takes you inside the Herculean effort involved in gathering the resources, assembling the volunteers, casting the dancers, rehearsing and staging the performances of this classic ballet.
Director Serene Meshel-Dillman, a former dancer at the School of American Ballet and commercial television producer, shows you an intimate, behind-the-curtain view of the dancers, their teachers and families.
Los Angeles-based Marat Daukayev School of Ballet, led by the former Kirov star, allowed Meshel-Dillman and her crew to record everything; the auditions, the rigorous hours of training and rehearsals, the joy of landing a principal role and the pain of losing one. The ballet dancers (boys and girls ages 3-18) are profiled; passionate people who, with their families, make incredible sacrifices of time and money just so that they may dance.
Best of all, you get to know these dancers. You hear about their dreams and share their triumphs and countless unexpected turns. You see it all, from talented teen artists with a future in dance to the younger, sweet children excitedly taking their turns on the stage.
Getting to the Nutcracker
Award Winning Documentary Film by Serene Meshel-Dillman
When: FRIDAY, NOV. 7 (additional screenings through Nov. 12)
Where: Village East Cinemas, 189 2nd Avenue, 7:20 PM
Group discount rate available at box office ($11 for members $14 regular)
Q&A with Director Serene Meshel - Dillman and “A Very Young Dancer” author Jill Krementz to follow.
The documentary Getting to the Nutcracker was inspired by a book published in 1976 by Jill Krementz titled "A Very Young Dancer". The book followed students at The School of American Ballet (SAB) from auditions through to performance of The Nutcracker Ballet with New York City Ballet. Serene was a student at SAB at this time. After leaving SAB, she danced at Melissa Hayden's and The Alvin Ailey School. She attended the University of Vermont where she performed with the Main Street Dance Theater. A love of photography was enhanced by darkroom and printing courses at the university, and has continued to be a passion ever since. After college, Serene worked as a producer of television commercials in both New York City and Los Angeles until she produced children with husband Ray. They live in Santa Monica, California, with three kids, two dogs, an African skink and two pet rats. Serene continues to dance as much as humanly possible.
About Serene Meshel-Dillman
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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Last updated: Nov. 6, 2014