This design has been worn by all of the company’s Principal Dancers since its debut, including Martine Lamy, who created the role, Sonia Rodriguez and Heather Ogden, who made her debut while she was still in the Corps de Ballet. After a run of 30 years, Celia Franca’s beloved production was replaced in 1995 by James Kudelka’s The Nutcracker. The new production ushered in James Kudelka’s era as Artistic Director, during which he re-thought many of the standards in the company’s repertoire.
The Nutcracker was a collaboration with world-renowned designer Santo Loquasto, who has designed, in addition to ballet, over 60 Broadway productions and more than 40 films. Loquasto assisted Kudelka in transposing the ballet from its traditional 1880s German setting to rural Russia in the 1830s, creating an air of opulence associated with the Imperial Russian Court. For her entrance, The Sugar Plum Fairy appears from within a giant Fabergé egg dressed in layers of candyfloss pink and glittering gold brocade, evoking a childhood jewellery box ballerina.