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Wave of ‘Nutcracker’ cancellations hits dance companies hard

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Ballet student Micah Sparrow stretches in a classroom at the Texas Ballet Theatre, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, in Fort Worth, Texas. For many, it’s not Christmas without the dance of Clara, Uncle Drosselmeyer, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Mouse King and, of course, the Nutcracker Prince. But this year the coronavirus pandemic has canceled performances of “The Nutcracker” around the U.S. and Canada, eliminating a major and reliable source of revenue for dance companies already reeling financially following the essential shutdown of their industry. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The coronavirus has hit one part of the arts and entertainment world especially hard, and that’s performances of “The Nutcracker.”

The pandemic has forced the cancellation of performances of the seasonal ballet around the United States and Canada.

Pulling the shows offstage this year is eliminating a major and reliable source of revenue for dance companies that were already reeling financially following the virtual shutdown of their industry. Company directors say the cancellations also affect the marketing role that “Nutcracker” performances play for introducing audiences to the world of dance.

Some companies say offering both in-person and streaming productions may become the norm.

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