Photoessay: Nutcracker from the Wings

Erik Tomasson has been San Francisco Ballet’s photographer since 2004. Through photographing multiple performances of Nutcracker each year, he has developed a deep familiarity with the production. These images, shot by Tomasson from the wings, offer a rare look behind the scenes of this holiday classic.

Ricardo Bustamante backstage as Drosselmeyer

An SF Ballet Student as Clara onstage during the battle scene

Snowflakes waiting for their entrance

The Snow Queen and King rehearsing a lift before their entrance

Jennifer Stahl waits for her entrance as the Sugar Plum Fairy while butterflies dance

Mother Ginger’s Buffoons’ joyous dance

Sofiane Sylve as the Sugar Plum Fairy during the Waltz of the Flowers

All photographs © Erik Tomasson


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