Eleven-year-old Charlotte Nebres has been cast as the lead in New York City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.
What We Know:
- Charlotte is a student at the School of American Ballet and was hand-picked to star as Marie, the young girl who dreams of a nutcracker that comes to life.
- This is the production’s first time casting a black dancer in this particular leading role. Charlotte’s mother, who was also a dancer growing up, is from Trinidad and her father’s family is from the Philippines.
- Charlotte remembers being inspired by watching Misty Copeland perform and her becoming the first African-American principal at American Ballet Theater back in 2015. “I saw her perform and she was just so inspiring and so beautiful,” she told the The New York Times. “When I saw someone who looked like me onstage, I thought, that’s amazing. She was representing me and all the people like me.”
Charlotte Nebres is the first black Marie, the young heroine of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” at New York City Ballet. “There might be a little boy or girl in the audience seeing that and saying, hey, I can do that, too.” https://t.co/JoNcYQF3Po
— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) December 3, 2019
- In terms of securing the role, Charlotte told the Times, “It is a big deal. But to me, it’s just how I grew up, so it’s not really different to me.”
- Charlotte says she feels free and empowered when she dances and that it makes her happy.
Charlotte joins a production full of diversity this Christmas season, with dancers ranging from half-Chinese, half-Korean, half-Greek and half-South Asian.