The New York City Ballet has made history with the help of an 11-year-old ballerina!
After 65 years of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” production hitting a New York City stage, they have made history!
For the first time since 1954, 11-year-old Charlotte Nebres is taking the lead role as the first black Marie.
Danielle Nebres, Charlotte’s mother said that when she first told her daughter she had got the role, her response was
“Wow. That seems a little late” according to the New York Times.
While it may seem like Charlotte was cast because of the color of her skin and there is a need for diversity nowadays, Dena Abergel, children’s ballet master at New York City Ballet, said it was because she had what they were looking for.
“When I’m looking for someone who can do Marie, I’m looking for someone primarily who has an ability to act on stage and to convey a story,” said Abergel. “… It has to be someone who can command the stage and who has enough confidence and spontaneity to handle whatever comes her way.”
Charlotte and Abergel are no strangers to each other. In fact, Charlotte was a student at the School of American Ballet where Abergel was her teacher.
Abergel said that usually when she tells students they got the role, there is excitement right at that moment. But for Charlotte, Abergel says she’s “not an extroverted person,” so it was hard to tell how she really felt about landing the role.
“With that poker face of hers, she said, ‘Well, I’m Marie,'” Nebres told The New York Times. “And I just thought, oh my goodness — they really did it. I couldn’t believe it.”
Congrats to Charlotte on this history-making role!