Photos: Peek behind the curtain at the kids, costumes and controlled chaos of a big Bay Area production of the Nutcracker

Behind-the-scenes photos of the classic Christmas ballet, staged at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts

Photographs by Magali Gauthier

Little elves, ages five through twelve, line up to go onstage during Western Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 2, 2018. (Photo by Magali Gauthier)

Putting on a production of The Nutcracker is no small feat, despite the bevy of local performances on offer during the holiday season. Western Ballet invited photographer Magali Gauthier behind the scenes at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts to document the controlled chaos as about 120 student and professional dancers prepared to delight audiences with the beloved Christmas ballet.

Clockwise from top left: Brushes covered in makeup in the men’s dressing room backstage of Western Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker; Polina Bortok applies her makeup backstage; Judy Liang gets dressed in her elf costume; Party scene costumes on a rack backstage; Suzanne Pallo applies lipstick to her daughter, Sophie, who plays a mouse. (Photos by Magali Gauthier)
Dancers rehearse The Waltz of the Snowflakes before Western Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 2, 2018. (Photo by Magali Gauthier)
Clockwise from top left: Ernest Hui holds his fake mustache while it dries in place in the men’s dressing room; Mirana Omg, Natalie Young and Katie Thomas get ready before Western Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 2, 2018; Matthew Ebert, who plays the Nutcracker, applies last-minute lipstick before heading out onstage; Dancers watch Assistant Artistic Director Alison Share rehearse as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Share is a professional dancer; Midori Saito quickly changes into her flower outfit backstage; Yuki Kishida applies makeup to her daughter, Taeko, before Act I of Western Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. (Photos by Magali Gauthier)
Joe LaChance, who plays the Snow King, stretches in the men’s dressing room backstage of Western Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 2, 2018. (Photo by Magali Gauthier)
Clockwise from top left: Soldiers and mice watch Natalie Young, who plays the Spirit of Christmas, dance onstage at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts; Dancers perform the Waltz of the Snowflakes at the end of Act I; Assistant Artistic Director Alison Share, who plays the Sugar Plum Fairy, practices her performance onstage between Act I and II while a man quickly sweeps fake snow from the stage; Performers offstage watch the Candy Canes dance while waiting in the wings. (Photos by Magali Gauthier)
Assistant Artistic Director Alison Share, who plays the Sugar Plum Fairy, adjusts her shoes backstage at Western Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 2, 2018. (Photo by Magali Gauthier)

This story originally ran in the December 7th issue of our sister publication, the Mountain View Voice.

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