The Nutcracker Bear surprises and delights the Silberhaus party guests
Photo credit: Rosalie O'Connor
Go behind the scenes and get your paws on the secrets behind Boston’s most beloved Bear.
The Nutcracker Bear waits in the wings for his surprise entrancePhoto credit: Liza Voll
A closer look at the tulle technique that gives the Bear’s fur a realistic look on stagePhoto credit: Brooke Trisolini
The Nutcracker Bear’s entrance during the Silberhaus family Christmas party never fails to surprise and delight. Brought in by Uncle Drosselmeier as the highlight of the party’s magical entertainment, the Bear playfully performs for the guests, amazing them with his high-flying leaps, dizzying turns, and big personality.
From creating his loveable look in the Costume Shop to perfecting his moves in the studio, take a peek behind the scenes to discover how The Nutcracker Bear comes to life.
Head to Paw Style
Original to Mikko Nissinen’s production, this Nutcracker Bear costume is built and maintained in house at Boston Ballet. Emmy Award-winning designer David Walker originally created the costume in 1995 and passed down his secret techniques for making the Bear. Although the overall concept has not changed over the years, Boston Ballet’s Costume Shop has incorporated slight updates to make the costume lighter, more comfortable, and more durable.
The original design was made entirely out of satin Lycra, which was heavy and held in body heat. Now, the Costume Shop uses a sports mesh material to create the inner lining of the costume—a testament to the true athleticism needed to perform the role. The breathable, lightweight mesh offers dancers extra mobility while performing on stage.
To create the illusion of realistic, graduated fur, the Costume Shop uses over 160 yards of tulle cut into varying widths sewn in dozens of rows. Tulle is a breathable and light fabric that allows the dancer to move more comfortably (especially when there’s so many tricks to be performed). Although it appears bulky, the costume weighs less than 10 pounds thanks to the team’s smart design.
SECOND SOLOIST LAWRENCE RINES
Second Soloist Lawrence Rines has fun performing the role of The Nutcracker Bear
Photo credit: Rosalie O'Connor
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