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NYCB Vol. 5 No. 20 - Nutcracker

[20/50] Robert Maiorano, a former NYCB soloist was the first boy to play a soldier in Balanchine's Nutcracker in 1955 (before that it had all been girls). He was also cast as the Nutcracker Prince for the 1958 CBS filming. He got to work closely with Mr. B who played Drosselmeyer for the shoot.

"We finished the back up taping and the following day we shot the entire performance live. Mr. Balanchine was more nervous than anyone. He had spent most of his time directing his dancers and had not allotted much rehearsal time for his own part."

"Just before we entered the party scene together he asked me in which direction he should go. I stammered at first, completely surprised that he would be asking me for assistance. Then I responded to him shyly, queuing him in time for our entrance. Everyone in the scene maneuvered him in front of the right camera at the right time. He soon gained confidence and easily zipped through with his natural ability for pantomime. The part came off smoothly, and the rest of Mr. Balanchine’s performance was appropriately beguiling and mysterious."

— Robert Maiorano in Worlds Apart: The Autobiography Of A Dancer From Brooklyn (affiliate link)

Balanchine in rehearsal as Drosselmeyer for the 1958 CBS filming.

Photo by Fred Fehl. Harry Ransom Center.

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