Everything Nutcracker

Sascha Radetsky Stars in Hallmark's Latest Holiday Movie

Sascha Radetsky and Amy Acker in A Nutcracker Christmas. Photo by Christos Kalohoridis, Copyright 2016 Crown Media United States LLC

Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, with their delightfully cheesy plots and predictable fairy tale endings, are pretty much the ultimate guilty pleasure. But this year there's an extra reason to cozy up in front of the TV in your pajamas, popcorn in hand. The latest Hallmark original movie, A Nutcracker Christmas, is all about ballet, complete with a cast of talented dancers.

The story centers on Lily, a former ballerina who thought she'd left the dance world behind long ago. She comes face-to-face with ballet again when her niece, Sadie, is cast in The Nutcracker. And Sadie's director just happens to be Lily's ex-boyfriend from her dance days, Mark.

The best part of all this? Former American Ballet Theatre dancer Sascha Radetsky, who's already proven he has acting chops in Center Stage and Starz's "Flesh and Bone," plays Mark. Sadie is played by young up-and-comer Sophia Lucia. In other words, we are hopefully in for some pretty great Nutcracker-themed dance sequences. From the looks of the preview, we just might be in luck.


The movie premieres tomorrow, December 10, at 8:00 pm EST. But if you miss it the first time, no worries—there are plenty of other showings throughout the month. Until then, check out the preview below, and a behind-the-scenes clip with the cast here.

The Conversation
Hamrick rehearsing Port Rouge in St. Petersburg. Photo courtesy Hamrick

Choosing music for your first-ever choreography commission can feel daunting enough. But when you're asked to create a ballet using the vast discography of the Rolling Stones—and you happen to be dating Stones frontman Mick Jagger—the stakes are even higher.

So it's understandable that as of Monday, American Ballet Theatre corps de ballet dancer Melanie Hamrick, whose Port Rouge will have its U.S. premiere tonight at the Youth American Grand Prix gala, was still torn about which songs to include.

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The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

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Ballet Stars
Royes Fernandez and Maria Tallchief in "Les Sylphides." Captured via YouTube.

In the early years of professional ballet in the United States, influential American dancers played key roles in changing perspectives of ballet as a strictly European art form. Maria Tallchief and Royes Fernandez were among those dancers who helped establish and define an American ballet aesthetic and identity: she as the original prima ballerina of New York City Ballet and he as American Ballet Theatre's Siegfried in the company's first full-length production of Swan Lake. These two exceptional performers are mesmerizing together in this 1963 excerpt from Fokine's Les Sylphide.

Maria Tallchief, Royes Fernandez - Excerpt from 'Les Sylphides' www.youtube.com

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News
She's back! (Erin Baiano)

Congratulations are in order for Kathryn Morgan! After a long struggle with hypothyroidism, which led to the ballerina's resignation from New York City Ballet in 2012, Morgan is now set to dive back into full-time professional dance as a soloist at Miami City Ballet.

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