With so many productions of the Nutcracker taking place this month, it's no surprise that companies are looking to put their own spin on the holiday classic. At Brooklyn Ballet, that switch-up comes courtesy of fiber optic tutus that literally light up the stage during the "Waltz of the Flowers" scene (and a production that fuses ballet with hip-hop and world dance genres). Partnering up with Brooklyn-based tech company Interwoven, BB's hi-tech tutus can be seen in action in the (soundless) clip below.
So what exactly is a fiber optic tutu? It works like this: Once the multi-layer tutus are constructed, fiber optic strands are hand sewn on to the fabric. Interwoven explains that fiber optics are transparent, flexible strands made from plastic or glass that are usually used for transmitting light between the two ends. To make the BB tutus come to life, LED lights are hidden under the skirt on the dancers' lower backs, which are controlled by circuit boards. The LED lights are even programmed to the exact blue-green color of the dancers' hand-dyed tutus.
We obviously can't get enough of the Nutcracker, but it's especially cool to see technology and dance come together in a totally new way.