NEW YORK — Charlotte Nebres is the very first half-black, half-Filipina dancer to play the lead role of “Marie” — the young heroine in New York City Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” — since its debut in 1954.
The history-making 11-year-old, who was handpicked for the role, is the child of a Filipino father and Trinidadian mother.
Nebres is not the only one making a big splash in this diverse cast of the New York Ballet’s 2019 production of The Nutcracker.
The prince, played by Tanner Quirk, is half Chinese. Alternate Marie, Sophia Thomopoulos, is half-Korean and half Greek.
The alternate prince, Kai Misra-stone is also half south Asian.
And while it may be a big deal in the ballet world to be the first black dancer to play Marie, Nebres said that she didn’t really find this unusual.
The young ballerina told the New York Times that she relates to Marie when it comes to experiencing Christmas magic, even everyday when one is happy.
Nebres shared that her favorite part in the production is when she and the prince sit on a sleigh that went up and away at the end of the show.
And just like the sleigh – the young ballerina’s career on stage is just about to take off.
The Nutcracker plays at the David Koch Theater in Lincoln Center until January 5th.