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Art&Seek Jr: Nutcracker-palooza–‘The Nutcracker’ Superlist

by Therese Powell 25 Nov 2014 9:25 AM

After you’ve finished Thanksgiving dinner, jump right into Christmas with one of these ‘Nutcracker’ ballets.


Art&Seek Jr. is one mom‘s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself.  Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.

Yes, yes, I know. To some it’s downright heresy to mention anything remotely Christmassy before the turkey is cold from the Thanksgiving dinner, but when it comes the holiday favorite, The Nutcracker, I thought it best to give you a heads up. If you want to see snowflakes dance, and rodents duel you’d best get cracking (so to speak) and get those tickets now while the gettin’ is good.

So, in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, here’s a cornucopia of upcoming Nutcracker productions in the North Texas area. They’re  listed in order by date so you won’t miss a single dancing snowflake.

'The Nutcracker' is the perfect holiday event to enjoy with your kids. photo: Art Ballet Academy, Fort Worth

‘The Nutcracker’ is the perfect holiday event to enjoy with your kids. photo: Art Ballet Academy, Fort Worth

1. Up first is Momentum Dance Company’s version of The Nutcracker at the Irving Arts Center. You can join Clara on her magic trip through the Land of Snow and into the Kingdom of the Sweets Nov. 28-30. Highlights include guest artists and a “Sugar Plum Fairy” reception after the final show.  Here’s tip on this one–fight the urge to sit right up front. The best seats are actually in the back of the house.

2. New York City Ballet principal dancers Maria Kowroski and Tyler Angle will guest star in Chamberlain Performing Arts’ 2014 production of The Nutcracker at the Eisemann Center in Richardson. It also plays this weekend, Nov. 28-30, so don’t wait on tickets.

3. LakeCities Ballet Theatre production of the classic holiday tale will also take stage Nov. 28-29 at Marcus High School Auditorium in Flower Mound. The ballet is accompanied by live orchestral music from Lewisville Lake Symphony and choreographed by Kelly Kilburn Lannin, LBT Artistic Director. Ms Lannin was chosen by Theater Jones as their 2012 Nutty Award winner for best battle scene and best waltz.

4. If you’re wanting to be dazzled in a big way, you’ll want to check out Texas Ballet Theater’s production of Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker. From the big splashy sets to the glittery costumes, this production is elaborate and won’t disappoint. This ballet takes stage at the Winspear Opera House from Nov. 28 to Dec. 7. If you can’t make those dates, you can also see it in Fort Worth later in the month in all of its opulence at Bass Hall from Dec. 12-27. Also worth noting, this is the only production of the famous ballet that you and the family can enjoy on Christmas Eve.

5. Dallas Ballet Center returns to the Granville Arts Center in Garland to perform their rendition of The NutcrackerDec. 5-7. The cast includes more than two hundred students from the Dallas Ballet Center, and guest artists, April Daly and Miguel Blanco from the famous Joffrey Ballet in the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier. Word on the street is that this production sells out before the curtain opens, so don’t wait to buy tickets.

6. Dallas Repertoire Ballet invites you to skip the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and escape to the Kingdom of Sweets in its production of The Nutcracker  Dec. 12-14 at the Eisemann Center in Richardson.

There are 'Nutcrackers' for everyone this holiday season! photo: Festival Ballet of North Central Texas

There’s a ‘Nutcracker’ perfect for everyone this holiday season! photo: Festival Ballet of North Central Texas

7. This year Tyler Junior College will mark its 26th anniversary of performing The Nutcracker. Invited to accompany the over 100 Tyler Junior College and community performers are two dancers from the world famous Dance Theater of Harlem performing the roles of the Sugar Plum and her Cavalier. You can see this extra special production Dec. 5-7 at the Tyler Junior College Wise Auditorium.

8. Dancers from New York, Washington D.C. and 30 communities in the north central region of Texas make up Denton’s Festival Ballet of North Central Texas. The company is celebrating its 27h year and their production of The Nutcracker has become a holiday tradition in Denton. You can catch Festival Ballet’s magical performance of The Nutcracker Dec. 13 & 14 at the Margo Jones Performance Hall at TWU in Denton.

9. Find out who the Nutcracker was before he was a piece of kitchenware in Krakatuk: A Nutcracker Prequel.  This unique and fun ballet filled with kings, queens, mice and, of course, a nutcracker, will answer all of your burning questions about what really happened to ballet’s most famous leading man. You can see this perfect introduction to the classic ballet at the McKinney Performance Center on Dec. 13 & 14.

10. If you’re craving something a little less sweet and a little more off-beat, then you won’t want to miss Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutty Nutcracker. The show blends hilarious pop culture references with the traditional Nutcracker to create a ballet that will have you laughing in the aisles. This version might be a bit racy for the tot-lettes, but the PG-13 crowd is sure to enjoy it. The Nutty Nutcracker is one night only–Dec. 19, at Fort Worth’s Bass Hall.

11. Speaking of different, be sure to check out imPULSE Dance Project’s production of  Snow. It’s not The Nutcracker, but this ballet definitely will put you in a wintery state of mind. The not-so-traditional Christmas and holiday dance performance combines candlelight and modern dance to bring the snowy outdoors, indoors. See it Dec. 20 & 21 at Lewisville’s MCL Grand Theater.

12. The Tuzar Ballet takes the stage at the Eisemann Center in Richardson for their production of The Nutcracker. This is the company’s 30th year performing the holiday classic. There are three performances of lavish and spectacular ballet Dec. 20-21.

13. With all of the gatherings, present buying and general holiday hoopla you might be finding your funds a bit low. Well, fear not, Art Ballet Academy’s production of The Nutcracker can take you to the magical land of the Sugarplum Fairy without straining your budget. At just $12 -16 a ticket, it’s one of the most affordable Nutcrackers around. You can see it at Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts Dec. 20.

14. Collin County Ballet Theatre will presents its 13th production of The Nutcracker with the Plano Symphony Orchestra at the Eisemann Center on, Dec. 22 & Dec. 23. The performance will integrate more than 100 children and student dancers with professional dancers in leading roles.

15. Speaking of a good value, Denison Dance Academy also presents a show with low ticket prices. Their Nutcracker Ballet has tickets as low as $5 for children and $15 for adults. It’s playing at the Kidd-Key Auditorium in Sherman on Dec. 23 for one performance only.

There you go, plenty of choices, but not much time. To coin a phrase from Madagascar’s Marty the Zebra, “Better get crack-a-lackin!”

Therese Powell is an Art&Seek calendar coordinator and KERA-TV producer. She spends most of her free time seeking out adventures for her 9-year-old daughter, Rose.  Tell us about your quirky kid adventures by leaving a comment. Or e-mail Therese at [email protected]