The Nutcracker and I

by Alexandra Dariescu

Project Overview

YeastCulture were commissioned to direct and produce this 50 minute unique response to the Nutcracker. The work is performed on stage by 1 solo pianist and 1 ballerina (Alexandra Dariescu and Desiree Ballantyne). All the other characters in the Nutcracker story were hand drawn, animated and then projected onto a gauze screen set at the front of the stage which the performers interact with throughout. The basis for the animated characters were real live dancers filmed against a green screen.  The data of which was used to create the animated characters.

The show first premiered at the Barbican in 2017 and has since been performed more than 80 times in 30 countries around the world. It was nominated for an Opus Klassik award in 2019. 

Performed and produced by:
Alexandra Dariescu

Nick Hillel

Art director and Animation Director
Adam Smith

Jenna Lee

Désirée Ballantyne, Amy Drew

Technical producer:
Sander Loonen

Video design produced by:

“The characters and set pieces are projected with over 35,000 hand drawn images in lush animation that would give Disney a run for its money.” — Broadway World
“Projected onto the gauze screen and bringing the story to life are exquisite digital animations, all hand drawn. They follow the music and engage live with Dariescu and ballerina Desiree Ballantyne as hey “dance” across the screen.” — Dance Australia