Birmingham Royal Ballet has partnered with RiVR, a UK-based virtual reality company to bring a new look to The Nutcracker.
The 12 Days of NutcrackAR is the world's first Nutcracker-themed augmented reality walking trail, which will take place around Birmingham.
It opens on 4 November at the Bull Ring, an important shopping area in the city, and is a free event. The NutcrackAR is part of the company's *Virtual Stage that offers everyone the opportunity to discover the backstage world seeing some of the props and costumes from the BRB production of Sir Peter Wright's famous The Nutcracker (at Birmingham Hippodrome from 17 November until 9 December).
Using a smart device, such as a phone or tablet, viewers can see the Sugar Plum Fairy tutu and its many hand-sewn pearls and sequins, the heavily embroidered coat of King Rat and the Christmas Tree where you can see graffiti from dancers and crew from over 30 years of shows!
Each day of the countdown to opening night will highlight a different AR site across the city. Content will be accessed through posters presented in various formats with QR codes with AR content, descriptive text and voiceover plus links to ticketing information.
After the opening night of The Nutcracker at Birmingham Hippodrome on 17 November, BRB's NutcrackAR will also be accessible in and around Hippodrome Square so audiences leaving the ‘reality' of a performance will also be able to enjoy ‘augmented reality' for the duration of The Nutcracker season.
*Virtual Stage is a project featuring content developed in collaboration with Canon and RiVR funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies' Digital Accelerator Programme.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.