KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- For local families, the Nutcracker is a Christmas tradition. This year, the Kansas City Ballet is joining a movement to make a change to the show.
The tin soldiers are ready to march, and the mouse and bear are ready to come to life. Devon Carney directs the show and he says there's a costume you won't see in the Nutcracker this December.
“It was a conversation that was going on nationally,” Carney said.
Ballets across America are changing the way they handle the Chinese dancers that come out during the tea variations, which too often rely on offensive cultural depictions of Asians called, ‘yellowface.’
When a local change.org petition caught Carney's eye, Carney decided it was time to make some changes here, like getting rid of the round hats the dancers wear.
“There's makeup the man wears. That's going away,” Carney said.
The woman who started the petition declined an interview, but after the ballet announced the changes, she posted an update to the page.
“I hope this provides an opportunity for continued reflection and dialogue on the inclusivity of all elements of the ballet — from the programming to costumes, to leadership, diversity of dancers and more.”
“The priority first and foremost is being appropriate to our current cultural experience,” Carney said.
Carney says the Nutcracker will be as vibrant as ever and a show all can enjoy.
“It's a constant evolutionary experience as a community, organization and me as an individual,” Carney said.
The Nutcracker will open at the Kauffman Center in early December.