Christmas has come early for the performing arts in Queensland. The industry and audiences have received the gift they’ve been awaiting since March: the return of theatres to full capacity.

That’s coincided with another unexpected present from Queensland Ballet, which has elevated metaphorical “pivoting” to an art form matching its own in 2020. Despite an early decision to reschedule all of its programmed 60th anniversary seasons to 2021, QB has continued finding (or making) opportunities to mount impromptu productions. Rather than having the year end without its annual family yuletide ballet, the company managed to sprinkle some of its magic, staging a Best of the Nutcrackerprogram at the QPAC Concert Hall in response to patron demand.

Image courtesy of Queensland Ballet

The festive cheer didn’t stop there though, with QB donating 1000 tickets to community nominees either adversely affected by or in service roles dealing with COVID-19. Culture-starved audiences saw the season expanded to five shows in two days, featuring three casts.

While the absence of sets does reduce some of the enchantment (notwithstanding a flutter of snowflakes), as well as visuals for children, the upside for adults who may have seen the ballet many...