Calvin as The Prince in ABT’s The Nutcracker. Photo- Quinn Wharton

The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) is gearing up for a magical performance of The Nutcracker this holiday season, featuring the preeminent talent of Calvin Royal III. As the lead, Royal, known for his distinctive grace and expressive prowess, is set to enchant audiences with a mesmerizing portrayal of The Nutcracker Prince on Friday, December 15.

Calvin Royal III's journey into dance is as unique as inspiring. Originating from a background in piano, his dance odyssey began with an early appearance in the local production The Chocolate Nutcracker. At 14, Royal's extraordinary talent propelled him to audition for a high school dance program, where his innate ability and unwavering dedication paved the way for a remarkable artistic journey.

American Ballet Theatre - "The Nutcracker"

In ABT's rendition of The Nutcracker, Royal continues to breathe new life into the timeless tale, bringing emotion and skill to the forefront. Paired with Cassandra Trenary as Clara, the upcoming performance promises a night of spellbinding artistry. ABT's production is a sweet treat for the holiday season in Costa Mesa, California. Choreographed by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky and adorned with dazzling sets and costumes by Tony-winner Richard Hudson, the production features a cast of over 100 performers dancing to Tchaikovsky's timeless score.

Initially composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1892, The Nutcracker has become a classic holiday tradition. Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, the ballet combines classical dance with imaginative and magical elements, creating a beautiful dreamscape where reality and fantasy merge.

"The Nutcracker" - American Ballet Theatre

While the initial staging didn't match the success of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, the ballet has evolved into a phenomenon embraced by ballet companies across North America. Many American ballet companies are successful primarily due to performances of The Nutcracker, a testament to its enduring popularity and cultural significance.

As Calvin Royal III takes center stage, his performance in ABT's production adds a new chapter to the legacy of The Nutcracker, captivating audiences and ensuring its place as a cherished holiday tradition.   -DH.

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Calvin Royal III, "Hallelujah " by Jeff Buckley

To witness Royal's artistry, you can view the video of his exquisite dance choreographed to Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah. This special presentation adds an extra layer of magic to the holiday season.