Every ballet star's stage career must eventually come to an end. This season, Festival Ballet Providence celebrates the retirement of one of its Nutcracker's best loved performers: Archie the dog. This Yorkshire Terrier, owned by FBP artistic director Misha Djuric, has taken the stage in more than 125 performances of FBP's Nutcracker over the past 19 years. Though he'll be missed, it makes sense... after all, in human years, he is nearing his 93rd birthday.
Archie appears in the ballet's first scene, scampering across the stage with the partygoers. "Archie announced that he's settling down to a life of luxury and long naps on pillow," says Djuric in a statement. "He actually never expected to have become so famous and he's very grateful for the fans who have supported him all these years."
Archie's retirement leaves room for a new Nutcracker dog, and in the world of ballet, that means an audition. FBP has opened its casting call to all canines ready for a life of fame. According to a statement, the criteria are as follows: "Does your pup have an elegant prance? A regal coat of fur? A charming smile? Can he or she handle the paparazzi?" There are perks for dog owners as well: A behind-the-scenes look at FBP, plus all audition participants will receive a discount code for Nutcracker tickets. Eligible pups will be seen by a panel of judges including Djuric and FBP company dancers and staff on Sunday December 2 from 12:00-2:00 pm at FBP's studios at 825 Hope Street in Providence, RI. Though FBP isn't the only company to incorporate furry friends into its Nutcracker, it's our holiday wish that more productions make the decision to include puppies onstage.