UC Bearcat Mascot to Perform in THE NUTCRACKER Opening Night at Music Hall

CB_Bearcat MascotSurprise, surprise! Mascots from Bengals, Reds, FC, and other sports teams will perform with Cincinnati Ballet dancers Dec. 16 – 26 

CINCINNATI, OH (December 16, 2021) – The mascot for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats will kick off a special addition to this year’s The Nutcracker – celebrating the Nutcracker’s return to Music Hall and UC Football’s amazing undefeated regular season! For the remaining Nutcracker performances, audiences will be delighted by appearances from Cincinnati Bengals Who Dey, Cincinnati Reds Rosie Red and Mr. Redlegs, FC Cincinnati’s Gary, and others. Artistic Director Victoria Morgan wanted to celebrate Cincinnati in a fun and unique way as she prepares to retire at the end of the 2021-2022 Season. ‘Cincinnati became my home 25 years ago. I love this community so much and am so grateful for the opportunity to share the love of dance with the region,’ Morgan said. ‘Our dancers are athletes, and we have such amazing athletes on our Cincinnati sports teams. We’ve had so much fun creating choreography for the mascots. It’s a riot and the audiences will just love the additions!’ Audiences won’t know which mascot is in which performance. Tickets are available at cballet.org.

Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker returns to Music Hall December 16 through 26. Tickets are limited to many performances. The lavish production will be staged in its full pre-pandemic splendor, with elaborate sets and costumes and live musical accompaniment of Tchaikovsky’s beloved score by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. This year’s production of Artistic Director Victoria Morgan’s whimsical version is even more special as this season marks Morgan’s 25th Anniversary and final season with the Company. “This whole story, Clara’s story is a child’s fantastic dream,” Morgan said. “The holidays are about joy, and I hope this production brings everyone as much joy as it has brought me over the years. It has been my honor and pleasure to share my Nutcracker with our patrons and the community.” Dozens of local children will dance alongside Cincinnati Ballet’s professional company. Due to vaccination requirements, only children 12 and older are featured in this year’s production. “We are so excited to have children back in The Nutcracker,” Morgan added. “Children are the heart and soul of the production and bring a magical energy as they perform. It’s also such an amazing opportunity for these children to perform alongside our professional dancers.” Cincinnati Ballet dancers and young performers (age 12 and older) appearing in the production are fully vaccinated and will perform unmasked.

The Nutcracker is a classic holiday tale that follows the imaginative story of Clara, a little girl who embarks on a dreamy journey after she receives a nutcracker as a gift on Christmas Eve. With her Nutcracker Prince, Clara travels through the Land of Sweets, meeting colorful and exciting characters along the way. Morgan’s whimsical choreographic take on the classic story is like nothing you have ever seen before! Victoria Morgan’s The Nutcracker premiered in 2011 with new sets by scenic designer John Ezell, bright and beautiful costumes by Carrie Robbins, lighting by Trad A Burns and athletic, engaging choreography by Victoria Morgan. Morgan’s rendition of the classical ballet is filled with unique, contemporary twists on longstanding traditions: from the bright, whimsical sets, stage effects and acrobatics to the appearance of new, playful characters.

All ticket holders aged 12 and above are required to show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination for entry into Cincinnati Music Hall and the Aronoff Center for the Arts. We are pleased to announce that to expedite entry, venues have partnered with BINDLE, a smartphone app that converts COVID-19 vaccination records into digital entry passes. The Bindle app is safe, secure, and available FREE OF CHARGE to all guests. The use of this app will speed the health screening process, allowing you to reach your seats faster! Use of Bindle is NOT REQUIRED, and health information is not shared with Bindle or the Cincinnati Arts Association (Aronoff Center/Music Hall). You can safely store your vaccine records and COVID-19 test results using Bindle’s military-grade encryption, keeping personal identity and health information strictly private. Proof of a negative Covid-19 test will also be accepted in lieu of proof of vaccination. The negative test can either be a PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance or an antigen test by a healthcare or pharmacy provider within 24 hours. In addition, all guests regardless of age or vaccination status are required to always wear masks inside the venue, including while seated in performance spaces. This policy will remain in effect until further notice. Cincinnati Ballet, along with our venue partners, will continue to closely monitor the rate of Covid-19 transmission in Hamilton County and assess and adjust accordingly. Additional Covid-19 related health protocols and requirements may be in effect at the time of future events. Cincinnati Ballet will communicate any changes via email prior to all affected performances.



  • Cincinnati Ballet
    Choreography: Victoria Morgan
    Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Carmon DeLeone



  • Thursday, December 16 – 7:30 pm
  • Friday, December 17 – 7:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 18 – 2:00 pm
  •  Saturday, December 18 – 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, December 19 – 1:00 pm
  • Sunday, December 19 – 6:30 pm
  • Tuesday, December 21 – 7:30 pm
  • Wednesday, December 22 – 2:00 pm
  • Wednesday, December 22 – 7:30 pm
  • Thursday, December 23 – 2:00 pm
  • Thursday, December 23– 7:30 pm
  • Friday, December 24 – 1:00 pm
  • Sunday, December 26 – 1:00 pm
  • Sunday, December 26 – 6:30 pm


  • Music Hall
    1241 Elm St.
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Cincinnati Ballet 2021-2022 Season Sponsors:

  • Victoria Morgan’s 25th Anniversary Season presented by PNC
  • Rhonda & Larry A. Sheakley, Margaret and Michael Valentine, ArtsWave, Mercy Health, Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund, Ohio Arts Council, The Austin E. Knowlton Foundation

About Cincinnati Ballet
Since 1963, Cincinnati Ballet has been the cornerstone professional ballet company of the region, presenting a bold and adventurous array of classical, full-length ballets and contemporary works, regularly with live orchestral accompaniment. Under the artistic direction of Victoria Morgan, Cincinnati Ballet has become a creative force within the larger dance community, commissioning world premiere works and exploring unique collaborations. With a mission to enrich, expand, and excel in the art of dance through performance, a high-caliber academy, and impactful education and community engagement in local to global communities, Cincinnati Ballet reaches beyond the stage in programs that allow every person in the region to be part of the continued evolution of dance. To that end, Cincinnati Ballet presents exhilarating performances, provides extensive education and community engagement programs, and offers top-level professional ballet training at Cincinnati Ballet Otto M. Budig Academy.

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