SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — Attending a live performance of the Nutcracker ballet is a Christmas tradition for many Bay Area families. After live performances were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, one San Francisco dancer created a way to keep them going virtually.

Nathan Cottam is a dancer and choreographer in the Bay Area. When he found out his annual performance was set to be canceled he got creative.

“I like to look at it as a period of intense opportunity for creativity,” Cottam said. “What comes out of the oven when you put 2020 and the Nutcracker together to me it was “The Nutshell” on film with people all over the world,” he said.

And so The Nutshell was born. It’s an international, digital mashup of The Nutcracker set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic music interpreted by hundreds of dancers of all skill levels.

“It was very very fun,” Olaimiade Olawale of the Leap of Dance Academy said.

Olawale lives in Nigeria and her dance academy became famous earlier this year when a video showing the less-than-ideal practice conditions there went viral.

12-year-old Ivana Radan plays Clara. She lives in New Jersey and says in some ways this is better than performing in person.

“Because of Covid I got to have more experiences and experience more people,” Radan said.

“This is something that could never have happened in another year,” Cottam said.

It’s a very 2020 tale, one where we’re more disconnected than ever before but still finding ways to do things like dance — even if it’s at a distance.

Tickets for The Nutshell can be purchased as a one-time live stream for $9 or for viewing on-demand with options to donate to organizations and artists who are struggling.

WEBLINK: Tickets for Nutshell