Joffrey Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’ Projection Mapped on Chicago’s Merchandise Mart

Late last fall, Chicago celebrated artistic endeavors and live performance with a twist by launching the winter 2020 programming for Art on the MART.
Work December 23, 2020

The initiative featured artwork and performances curated by The Joffrey Ballet, The Art Institute of Chicago, and Arts of Life. 

In an ode to their annual famous Nutcracker performance, The Joffrey Ballet teamed up with The Mill to develop a 4-minute film set to Tchaikovsky’s acclaimed score. Brought to life through projection mapping (utilizing 36 projectors in total), the condensed version of the Nutcracker live performance uses iconic moments, photography, and computer generated imagery to celebrate the ballet performance in new way. 

Chicago locals and tourists could view the performance with full sound accompaniment in a socially distant environment on the 2.5 river facade of the Merchandise Mart, from The River Walk or Wacker Drive, between Wells St. and Franklin St on the opposing side of the river. 

“We’re huge fans of the Joffrey Ballet and together we created something memorable for the holiday season. This rendition of The Nutcracker is unique in that it has been made distinctly Chicagoan by The Joffrey, and we wanted to celebrate and express that though this projection mapping rendition. It inspires our hometown pride, but also tells a timeless story.
Emerging Technology Creative Director at The Mill, Bradon Webb