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Cincinnati Zoo's Fiona joins cast of 'The Nutcracker'

Posted at 4:05 PM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 08:31:15-05

CINCINNATI -- The Sugar Plum Fairy, the mice, Arabian dancers … and now Fiona. The Cincinnati Zoo’s famous hippo Fiona is joining the cast of “The Nutcracker” at Music Hall. Fiona is magical after all. 

Fiona, or the dancer playing Fiona, started rehearsing with members of the Cincinnati Ballet Tuesday. The ballet and Cincinnati Zoo collaborated to make the imaginative story of Clara a bit more whimsical with the addition of a hippo. 

Fiona Ballet Costume

“What could be more Cincinnati than the famous Fiona dancing in the region’s favorite holiday tradition,” said Cincinnati Ballet Artistic Director Victoria Morgan. 

The ballet’s wardrobe team spent four weeks and nearly 100 hours on a custom Fiona costume, according to Morgan. The costume is more than 6 feet tall and measures 60 inches around the waste. Without giving too much away, the ballet released photos Tuesday of the costume’s feet and hands, and the pink material used for Fiona’s tutu.

The character of Fiona will appear in 15 performances of “The Nutcracker” from Dec. 13 to Dec. 24.

Fiona Ballet Costume

“Fiona the hippo is a graceful diva in her pool at Hippo Cove,” Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard said in a written statement. “I can’t wait to see the moves that Victoria has choreographed for the Fiona character! I’m sure this addition to the cast will be a big hit with all audiences.”

Presented by Frisch’s Big Boy, the Cincinnati Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” is now in its 45th season. 

Click here to buy tickets for “The Nutcracker” at Music Hall.