(Alexandra S. Levine’s article appeared in The New York Times, 12/21; via Pam Green.)

Harrison Coll is only 22. But on the day I met him, he became six decades older.

It was a Sunday morning, and he was getting into costume for the New York City Ballet’s production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.” Mr. Coll, in his 12th year with the show, is dancing this year as Herr Drosselmeier, the mysterious entertainer who makes the nutcracker dolls.

I joined him backstage at a matinee to see what it’s like between call-time and the moment the curtain rises.

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