Sterling Hyltin in The Nutcracker. (Photo by Paul Kolnik)

Hostess to the Land of Sweets: Comparing The Nutcracker’s Sugarplum Fairies

For students of New York City Ballet, it is, among other things, a learning tool for younger dancers and a gauge of how management (i.e. Peter Martins) feels about them. And appearing in the central role, the Sugarplum Fairy, is a rite of passage in the journey from member of the corps to ballerina. That’s why critics are so eager to keep up with casting—to follow a talented dancer from Hot Chocolate to Coffee to Marzipan to Dewdrop to Sugarplum, though not always in that order.

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