NEW YORK (AP) — The New York City Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” has cast a black dancer to play Marie for the first time.

The New York Times reports Charlotte Nebres will star in this year’s rendition of the company’s production, which started in 1954.

 

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IN THE NEWS // The four School of American Ballet @sab_nyc children who alternate the roles of Marie and the Nutcracker Prince were recently profiled in The New York Times by Gia Kourlas. She sat down with them to discuss the rehearsal process, their lives off-stage, and their roles in the ballet.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ When asked about why ballet is important to her now, in this moment, 11 year-old Charlotte Nebres, pictured here in rehearsal for her role as Marie, said:⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ "To me, it just feels like when I dance I feel free and I feel empowered. I feel like I can do anything when I dance. It makes me happy, and I’m going to do what makes me happy. You don’t need to think about anything else."⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Photo: Heather Sten @heathersten for The New York Times @nytimes⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ See these very young dancers, who are the heart of George Balanchine's The Nutcracker®, now on stage through JAN 5. Tap the link in bio for tickets and more information.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #nutcracker #nycbnutcracker #thenutcracker #nutcrackerballet #holidayseason #georgebalanchinesthenutcracker #ballet #dance #balletdancer #dancelife #balletlife #instaballet #dancers #choreography #balanchine #nycb #nycballet #newyorkcityballet #newyorkcity #linkinbio #schoolofamericanballet

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Nebres is a student at the School of American Ballet. Her mother’s family is from Trinidad and her father’s family is from the Philippines.

The 11-year-old Nebres says she remembers being inspired by Misty Copeland becoming the first African-American female principal at American Ballet Theater.

Nebres will be joined by a diverse group of young leads.

Nebres’ Prince, Tanner Quirk, is half-Chinese. Sophia Thomopoulos, who will also play Marie, is half-Korean, half-Greek. Sophia’s Prince will be played by Kai Misra-Stone, who is half-South Asian.