Immersive version of The Nutcracker comes to Denver with eye on new telling of classic Christmas tale

Listen Now
2min 11sec
Eden Lane/CPR News
Patrons at The Immersive Nutcracker take in the sights and sounds at Denver’s Lighthouse Immersive.

Each holiday season, families around the world seek out "The Nutcracker" to celebrate the holidays. Now, selections from Tchaikovsky, including "The March of the Toys" and "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" are helping bring the age-old Christmas story to life in an immersive show.

Svetlana Dvoretsky is one of the producers of a popular immersive exhibit featuring the work of Van Gogh. Now the group is presenting a reimagined version of a beloved family holiday tale in Denver.  

Dvoretsky says the concept was in response to ballet company pandemic shutdowns and restrictions. 

“But we were able to operate because we can control the space, and an environment, and the distance between people, and create a really safe environment in our galleries. And we thought that there's really almost no offerings for our little friends.”

This new vision of The Nutcracker required some editorial decisions to condense it and make it more accessible for families.

“Yeah, it's the hardest part,” Dvoretsky said, “because you really wanted to honor the story, and the music. Because you can't decide what do you really wanna live out from the Tchaikovsky music? But we had to do it. We realized that it can't last for three hours.”

Craig Northup is the assistant event manager at Lighthouse Immersive Denver, which is hosting the exhibit. He says the key for families to get the most out of this Immersive Nutcracker is an open mind.

“Come with the expectation that you're gonna see this in a 360 [degree] scope and that it's gonna move and it's gonna twirl and it's gonna be here for adults and for kids alike. And everyone can enjoy this event. Come with the open mind about the retelling of it, I'd say. And, be excited … to be a part of it,” Northup said.

Northup advised parents to take advantage of the opportunity to dress their children up, and themselves too, but that they should wear active footwear since kids will want to run, jump, and explore.

“Yes. Wear those costumes. Bring that Christmas spirit that your kid wants to express themselves in this gallery. But yes, definitely wear tennis shoes.”

Dvoretsky said the entire score has been recorded specifically for this project, by an orchestra in Armenia.

The Immersive Nutcracker - A Winter Miracle runs through Dec. 31 at Denver's Lighthouse Immersive.

You can also view a list of other productions of The Nutcracker around Colorado here.

Eden Lane/CPR News
Patrons at The Immersive Nutcracker take in the sights and sounds at Denver's Lighthouse Immersive.