George Balanchine paved the way for The Nutcracker to become an American holiday tradition when the New York City Ballet debuted his version in 1954.
With that in mind, it might seem strange that Miami City Ballet, one of Balanchine’s heirs and the sole dance company to perform a season at the Kravis Center, performs its Balanchine Nutcracker so sporadically at the center.
The Nutcracker accounts for about a quarter of Miami City Ballet’s ticket sales. Most years, it’s the company’s biggest seller.
Nationwide, for companies in Miami City Ballet’s budget bracket, the ballet provides about 15 percent of total revenues, according to a 2010 Dance/USA survey.
“The Nutcracker for almost any ballet company is considered a cash cow,” said Bill Miller, Miami City Ballet’s marketing and communications director. “That’s why they do it.”