Fiona the Hippo Joins the Cast of the Cincinnati Ballet's Annual 'Nutcracker'

The hippo herself won't be onstage, but someone in a hippo costume will be

click to enlarge A preview of Fiona's feet - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
A preview of Fiona's feet

On Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 13), the Cincinnati Ballet will reveal a brand new character in its cast for The Nutcracker: Fiona. Yes, everyone's favorite hippo will be taking the stage for the annual holiday ballet.

For The Nutcracker's 45th season, the wardrobe team spent nearly 100 hours designing and constructing a custom costume to replicate Fiona, says Cincinnati Ballet Artistic Director Victoria Morgan. The hippo costume is nearly six-feet-tall and features a pink tutu. “What could be more Cincinnati than the famous Fiona dancing in the region’s favorite holiday tradition?” said Morgan in a press release. 

“Fiona the hippo is a graceful diva in her pool at Hippo Cove,” continued Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard in the same release. “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.”

While we don't know when or where Fiona will be appearing in the ballet itself, this year's The Nutcracker will follow its same classic story, set to the music of Tchaikovsky — the tale of Clara, her nutcracker prince, the Land of Sweets, sugar plum fairies and more whimsical holiday adventure. 

The Nutcracker will be onstage at Music Hall Dec. 13-24. Tickets and more info at cballet.org.

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