Dewd Drop


Classical story ballets are of the most gender-codified productions in the performing arts. Although both male and female dancers share ballet steps in class and most story ballet choreography, historic tradition relegates roles described as “gallant, strong, courageous” to male dancers. However, several innovative versions of story ballets alter the traditions, such as Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Akram Kahn’s re-telling of Giselle, or the productions of the all-male comedic ballet company Les Ballets de Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Professional companies have the resources to create productions with amended and diversified stories and cast. For directors in pre-professional dance schools, how does one integrate progressive choices in casting and choreography? How far can the pre-professional academic dance world adventure in dance education while maintaining peace among the parental tribes of dance families? Unintentionally, I addressed those as mentioned above by casting a male dancer in the traditional role of the Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker. The investigation provided discoveries emanating throughout from the initial casting through the rehearsals and culminating in a performance. From a scholarly perspective, the unknown local Nutcracker production in West Texas was a small vehicle educating students and the community of ballet’s impact on youth’s perspectives on an evolving art form. Traditional ballet vocabulary can tell all stories for everyone as it is a personal experience for the audience. At its base layer, ballet language, the movement, pointe, flat shoes, or bare feet tells the story, not the gender.