'The Nutcracker' takes virtual stage for Milwaukee Ballet

The Milwaukee Ballet has been performing "The Nutcracker" every Christmas for more than five decades.

“It is enormously important. 'The Nutcracker' is the most iconic ballet of all time,” said Artistic Director Michael Pink.

"The Nutcracker" normally makes up more than half of the Milwaukee Ballet’s annual ticketing revenue, raising more than $1 million each year.

However, in 2020, the organization knew filling up the Marcus Performing Arts Center would not be possible.

The Nutcracker rehearsed in 2020 by the Milwaukee Ballet

The Milwaukee Ballet has not performed on stage in more than nine months, but they are breaking out the pointe shoes to keep "The Nutcracker" tradition alive. Not performing "The Nutcracker" was not an option.

“Well, that would be giving in, wouldn’t it? That’s not what we do here,” said Pink.

The Nutcracker rehearsed in 2020 by the Milwaukee Ballet

“I think every little boy who watches 'The Nutcracker' really tunes into that battle scene and really loves the sword and fighting the mice,” said Leading Artist Parker Brasser-Vos.

Brasser-Vos has been performing in "The Nutcracker" since he was in grade school. Now, he holds the sword himself, dancing in the lead role.

“I would be ecstatic, even if there was one person in the audience,” said Brasser-Vos.

The Nutcracker rehearsed in 2020 by the Milwaukee Ballet

That is a good thing, considering in 2020, the audience is through a camera. It’s not your typical 'Nutcracker.'

“It’s extremely different because it’s not the full-blown production that we normally present at the Marcus Center,” said Pink.

Pink wrote a new script. He’s calling it "The Nutcracker: Short & Sweet." It runs about 40 minutes.

“All the key elements and dancing are there, but it’s more of a storybook feel,” said Brasser-Vos.

The Nutcracker rehearsed in 2020 by the Milwaukee Ballet

Instead of at the Marcus Center, it is being performed in the much-smaller theater inside the Baumgartner Center for Dance. They are recording the performance so that people can watch it from home.

The few live performances will be limited to 10 people in the audience per show.

“I’m super excited to get us performing for as many people as we can safely,” said Brasser-Vos.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get breaking news alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android

The filming was made possible with a grant from the United Performing Arts Fund. The grant covered all of the technological upgrades needed to make it work.

You can purchase the digital performance through Dec. 27 for $25. Visit milwaukeeballet.org for more information.