Dancer James Fable's amazing moves have earned him the nickname "J-Floats." And James is just about floating on air, thrilled to be back at the Brooklyn Ballet after months away.
"I actually felt for a second that my dance career was done. I thought my dance career was over, that I'd have to do something else," said Fable.
But at the last minute, Artistic Director Lynn Parkerson decided there was a way to perform, "The Brooklyn Nutcracker," a mulit-cultural take on the classic holiday dance this season. All thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows of the company's rehearsal studio.
"We essentially transformed our studio which is a storefront, beautiful storefront studio into what we call the jewel box theater, the audience will be safely watching from outside socially distance and the dancers will be dancing inside mask and socially distant," said Parkerson.
"When I found out we would do the nutcracker this year it shows that we can do anything. That we can make the best of any situation that we can find a way," added Fable.
Just a few weeks ago, Fable was delivering food and working on the docks to make ends meet, unable to perform in theaters or his other stage, the city's streets and subway.
"I was excited not just because I'm performing for everybody, that is a big thing. But i'm also seeing some of my closest friends for the first time after almost a year, so it honestly brings joy to my heart to be honest. Plus this is one of my most favorite times a year," he told us.
Because of the smaller performing space, the Brooklyn Ballet's Nutcraker has downsized. Instead of 70 dancers, a dozen will perform, including Miku Kawmura. She has been out of work for months, but is ready to transform into the Sugar Plum Fairy.
"I couldn't believe it. I didn't know it come so soon so I actually wasn't prepared for it so yes I'm trying my best to...shape yes. I am very happy and finally I feel alive," said Kawmura.
Of course it will be cold outside but unlike a traditional ballet, these performances will only last about 20 minutes. There will also be food trucks on site and the warmth of the holiday season.
"We're excited provide some real joy and radiance," said Parkerson while outside enduring the cold.
"It's not about receiving the applause, it's about giving people joy," said Fable.
Hopefully there will be plenty of both.
For more information visit brooklynballet.org.