October 29, 2020

First Black and Caribbean roots ballerina hopes to leave the audience empowered

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The ballerina in The Nutcracker, r. has roots

, NEW YORK, , Mon. Dec. 16, 2019: For the first time in the history of the New York City Ballet, the holiday classic “The Nutcracker,” has a black and Caribbean roots dancer playing the prima ballerina lead role of ‘Marie.’ And her message to the audience is one of empowerment.

Eleven-year-old Charlotte Nebres has made history by playing the first black ballerina heroine in the New York City Ballet show that has been performed for more than 50 years. Her grandparents hail from Trinidad and the Philippines.

And her message to people in the audience?

“I want them to feel empowered … because you get to see someone like you onstage, and it makes you think, ‘Oh, well maybe I can do that, too, because if she did it then I can,’” she told CBS News.

Charlotte is a New Jersey native. She was in last year’s production of “Sleeping Beauty.” But, after this year’s audition, she emerged as the lead ballerina for the show.

The current version of the ‘George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker’ will run now through Jan. 5. For tickets and information, visit nycballet.com.

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