Nutcracker on the Go: A Visit to UCSF

Every holiday season, despite their packed schedules, Company members find some time to visit the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, bringing a taste of this annual holiday tradition to young patients who otherwise would not be able to see the production. In 2015, we followed our dancers on their visit to UCSF. To find out more about their visit, keep reading. 

Company members sign Nutcracker posters for patients. (© Chris Hardy)

Company members performed an abridged version of the production in costume, narrated by Principal Dancer Sarah Van Patten. Each dancer performed a sampling of several variations from the beloved holiday classic.

The mini-performance delighted the audience, bringing some holiday joy into the lives of the children in attendance. The young patients and their families received signed posters from the mini-Nutcracker cast and spent time talking with Company members. Corps de Ballet member Thamires Chuvas remarked, “[I’m] so excited and happy to put a smile on these kids’ faces. I’m glad that we’re able to bring the Nutcracker to their bedside.”

Sarah began organizing these hospital visits in 2008, after a former Company member handed over the responsibility before leaving the Company. Since then, she has continued the tradition every December. She added, “The holidays are a perfect time to give back to the community, and I am thrilled to bring a little joy into these kids’ lives by organizing this annual visit—I wouldn’t miss it!”