Entertainment

National Ballet of Canada cancels The Nutcracker for the first time since 1955

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the National Ballet of Canada to cancel its performances set for November and December, including its annual production of The Nutcracker.

Protection of audiences and artists during pandemic is 'foremost priority,' organizers say

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the National Ballet of Canada to cancel its performances set for November and December, including its annual production of The Nutcracker. Dancers are seen at the National Ballet of Canada's Company Class in Toronto, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2018. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the National Ballet of Canada to cancel its performances set for November and December, including its annual production of The Nutcracker.

In a news release, the company says not being able to perform the fall season is "deeply disappointing."

But the safety of their audiences and artists is their "foremost priority" during the pandemic.

The ballet says it still intends to proceed with its winter season in March 2021 and its summer season in June 2021 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

Artistic director Karen Kain says she's "particularly heartbroken to have to cancel The Nutcracker."

Kain notes this will be the first year since 1955 that Toronto audiences will not be able to watch the holiday classic that's set in a winter wonderland and features celebrity cameos.

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