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Life backstage: Getting ready for “The Nutcracker”

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

On Tuesday, we stopped by the Ballet Austin wardrobe shop to visit with and interview Emily Cawood, shoe manager and wardrobe assistant.

Like all of the artistic and production artists at Ballet Austin, Cawood spends nearly two months in preparation for “The Nutcracker,” which this year opens Dec. 6.

With its huge list of roles and multiple casts — not to mention elaborate and elegant new costumes acquired just last year — Ballet Austin’s “Nutcracker” finds Cawood dyeing dozens of womens’ pointe shoes, mens’ ballet slippers and childrens’ shoes. Prepping costumes, stitching decorative headpieces and loading

Herself a performer (she’s a competitive karoke singer and a substitute performer at comedy club Ester’s Follies), Cawood’s fond of documenting her work for Ballet Austin on social media grouping it with #lifebackstage, a strangely under-utilized hashtag. (She’s @sewknotwrite on Instagram.)

Cawood’s documenting is understandable: The visuals of backstage costume work are irresistible.

Cawood will be the focus of a story to run Dec. 4.

Until then, here’s a look at what I couldn’t resist visually in the Ballet Austin wardrobe workshop.