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NYCB Vol. 5 No. 12 - Nutcracker

[12/50] In 1985, Jean-Pierre Frohlich recalled his early years in The Nutcracker to author Ellen Switzer: "When I danced the Nutcracker Prince, Mr. Balanchine still coached us himself. I was the first Prince to wear black patent leather shoes, rather than white soft dancing slippers. While I was doing my pantomime, Mr. Balanchine looked at one of the girls from the corps who was watching rehearsals that day. She was wearing shiny black shoes. He asked her to take them off and lend them to me. Then he asked me to continue dancing wearing them. They were much too big; I had to stuff them with Kleenex so they would not fall off my feet. But Mr. Balanchine said they looked much better, more like the dancing shoes that men wore at the royal court in France during the time of Louis XIV. 'Not so much like bedroom slippers,' he said. So the next day I went to be fitted for patent leather dancing pumps. And the Nutcracker princes had been wearing that kind of shoe ever since.”

— Jean-Pierre Frohlich in The Nutcracker: A Story & a Ballet by Ellen Switzer (affiliate link)

(left) Shaun O'Brien as Drosselmeyer, Judith Fugate and Jean-Pierre Frohlich. Photo by Martha Swope, 1966.

(right) Melissa Hayden as Sugarplum with Judith Fugate and Jean-Pierre Frohlich (with the black shoes). Photo by Martha Swope, 1966.

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