Each holiday season, Tchaikovsky's magical The Nutcracker is brought to life in a colorful production by the Ballet Theater of Indiana University's Jacbos School of Music. Sugarplum Dreams: Staging The Nutcracker Ballet goes behind the scenes of the 43rd annual presentation of this classic, showing the preparation, talent, and sheer effort exerted to bring this production to the stage.
The program begins with the auditions of children from the pre-college ballet program. It then follows several of them and Indiana University ballet students through dance practice, costume fittings, and musical rehearsal. The program introduces the principal characters of The Nutcracker story and shows work on 300-plus costumes used in the ballet.
As the dancers master their steps and the musicians hone their performances, the costume makers, set designers and builders all work toward meeting their deadlines. The viewer shares a hectic day-in-the-life of dancers and instructors as the performance approaches, while the camera captures the excitement and anticipation as all of the elements come together during dress rehearsal. The program ends backstage in the highly charged atmosphere of The Nutcracker performance.