DENVER (CBS4)The Colorado Ballet is making some changes to it’s 60th Anniversary season to keep its dancers and audiences safe from coronavirus. As a result of the pandemic, two productions are cancelled: ‘The Nutcracker’ and “Ballet MasterWorks.”

Colorado Ballet Nutcracker

(credit: Mike Watson)

The Colorado Ballet’s 60th Anniversary season was scheduled to kick off Oct. 9 with a production of “Giselle.” That production is being moved to April of 2021. The season will now feature three productions:

— “The Great Gatsby” – February 5-7, 2021
–“The Wizard of Oz” – March 5-14, 2021
— “Giselle” – April 9-18, 2021

Colorado Ballet Nutcracker

(credit: Colorado Ballet)

“The Nutcracker” was the first production the Colorado Ballet did 60-years ago, and this year the company is being forced to cancel all 26 performances. It’s a family favorite for the holidays.

“It’s something we do every year. It was supposed to be our 60th presentation of it, here in Denver, this year. And it is, it’s a holiday tradition for everybody, so on that front it’s very sad. But it’s also sad for our dancers. With 28 performances, especially the younger artists get opportunities for solos and featured roles, and to lose that performing opportunity is very difficult,” said Gil Boggs, Artistic Director of Colorado Ballet.

The company estimates that cancelling both productions could cost it as much as $4 million.

Colorado Ballet is a 501(c)3 and relies on ticket sales for a major part of its budget. That is why it is launching its Relief and Recover Fund. The goal is to raise $3 million to cover the losses of the season, and to help the company keep its world-class dancers and staff.

“We’ll continue to produce exceptional classic ballet on the stage and also new works…contemporary works. We were going to expand this year from 32 dancers, we were going to get to 35 or 36 dancers. It was a lot of growth happening for us. It’s just put us on pause, but that growth will continue. The company will continue to grow,” Boggs told CBSN Denver, a free 24-hour streaming news service.

Single ticket sales for “The Great Gatsby” will go on sale December 1, 2020.

Libby Smith

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