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Go Nuts With Art&Seek Jr’s 2019 Nutcracker Superlist!


by Therese Powell 12 Nov 2019

Jump right into the holiday season with one of these ‘Nutcracker’ ballets.

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Good news! Thanksgiving happens on Nov. 28 which means it happens “late” this year. Bad news–even though it falls just two days short of the end of the month people will still say it’s early.

Whether you perceive Turkey Day to be late or early,  the simple fact is there’s A LOT going on right now. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is a real thing, people. And if you think Thanksgiving feels early this year, get a load of this–Saturday (4 short days from now) marks the beginning of  ‘Nutcracker’ season. Yep, you read that right. Not to rush you or anything, but if you want to see candy dance and rodents duel you’d best get cracking (so to speak) and get those tickets now while the gettin’ is good.

To assist you in your search for the perfect Nutcracker here’s our annual Superlist, hot off the presses. If you’re not into nuts, no worries. We’ve also listed several seasonal dance productions in our neck of the woods. All the performances are listed in order by date so you won’t miss a single dancing snowflake.

Photo: Moscow Ballet/Great Russian Nutcracker

Kick-off the holiday season in a big way with  Moscow Ballet’s ‘Great Russian Nutcracker.’ World-class Russian ballerinas and dancers will be performing in Dallas as part of their tour of North America. The splashy show features over 200 dazzling costumes, stunning sets, towering puppets, and soaring birds, See it Nov. 16 & 17 at McFarlin Auditorium on the SMU campus.

Avant Chamber Ballet’s “Nutcracker: Short and Sweet” is another production that happens before Turkey Day. The one-hour, family-friendly performance the perfect introduction to dance and classical music. See it  Thursday, Nov. 21 at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake. The group will also perform a full-length version of the holiday classic that includes a live orchestra Saturday, December 20-22 at Moody Performance Hall.

Snowflakes and sweets come alive at Ballet Frontier’s annual production of ‘The Nutcracker.’ Besides the beautiful costumes and world-class choreography, this years’ show will also feature special guest artist, Kathryn Boren from American Ballet Theatre. She’ll be reprising her role as the Sugar Plum Fairy. See it Nov. 22 & 24 at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth.

Ballet North Texas is bringing two different versions of the classic Christmas ballet to two different venues this holiday season. See a special sensory-friendly version at Moody Performance Hall on Nov. 24.  This Nutcracker ballet is especially for those with sensory sensitivities, autism spectrum disorder or other special needs. Appropriate changes will be made to the performance to create a welcoming and safe space for all in attendance.  The group will also be headed to the Jamie Foxx Performing Arts Center in Terrell for two performances on Dec. 20 & 21. After the Dec. 21 performance stay for a special Sugar Plum Tea. You and the littles can join the Sugar Plum Fairy for treats, storytime with Clara, and photos with all your favorite Nutcracker characters.

Join Chamberlain Performing Arts Thanksgiving weekend for their annual production of ‘The Nutcracker.’  New York City Ballet principal dancers Tiler Peck and Tyler Angle, who will perform the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier, will be joining the cast of snowflakes and mice. See it at the Eisemann Center in Richardson the weekend of Nov. 29-Dec. 1.

Journey with Clara on her magic trip through the Land of Snow and into the Kingdom of the Sweets as Momentum Dance Company presents their production of ‘The Nutcracker’ Nov. 28 – Dec. 1 at the Irving Arts Center. Momentum welcomes guest artists, Juliann McAloon and Ronnie Underwood, as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Following the final show on Dec. 1, the tinies can meet the dancers and characters from the show during a Sugar Plum Fairy reception.

Prepared to be dazzled in a big way with 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. The glittery seasonal favorite takes the stage at the Winspear Opera House Nov. 29 to Dec. 8.  And in Fort Worth, ‘Nutcracker’ performances continue  Dec. 13-29 at the equally opulent Bass Performance Hall.

Photo: LakeCities Ballet Theatre/Nancy Loch Photography

LakeCities Ballet Theatre also takes to the stage at Aubrey High School Nov. 30-Dec. 1 with their version of the classic holiday tale. Sarah Lane with American Ballet Theatre will be the show’s Sugar Plum Fairy and Daniel Ulbricht with New York City Ballet will perform as her Cavalier. As an added bonus, the Lewisville Lake Symphony will accompany the ballet making this a very magical Nutcracker. The company will also be partnering with the city of Waxahachie and presenting matinee performances of the ballet at Waxahachie High School on Dec. 7 & 8. For an additional cost, you can also add a Sugar Plum Fairy Experience. The interactive event includes lunch with the Nutcracker characters, participation in a Sugar Plum parade, and premier seating.

Dance students from all over East Dallas will perform in “Nutcracker Short ‘N Suite” Dec. 5-7 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas. The hour-long performance is like the name implies–short, and at just $8 a ticket, it’s also sweet! Get there early for the matinee on Dec. 7 and enjoy a special Land of Sweets Breakfast. Little kiddles can sample tasty goodies and get their pictures taken with Nutcracker characters and Santa.

Tyler Junior College Academy of Dance will mark its 31st anniversary of performing ‘The Nutcracker.’ Rayleigh Vendt and Walker Martin from the Oklahoma City Ballet will join the cast of over 150 TJC and community performers in the roles of the Sugar Plum and her Cavalier. You can see this extra special production Dec. 6-8 at Caldwell Auditorium in Tyler.

This year marks 33 years Dallas Ballet Company has performed the holiday ballet. Come and enjoy their ‘Nutcracker’ which includes elaborate sets, costumes, and a cast of more than two hundred students from the Dallas Ballet Center. See it at the Granville Arts Center in Garland weekends Dec.6-15. Don’t wait to buy tickets because this popular Nutcracker has traditionally sold out before the curtain opens.

Ballet Ensemble of Texas’ 20th-anniversary of ‘The Nutcracker’ includes glistening snow, detailed costumes, and masterful choreography by artistic director Thom Clower. This season’s production features Alumni Aldrin Vendt from Ballet Arkansas dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Cavalier. See it Dec. 7 & 8 at the Irving Arts Center.

For their 15th-anniversary production of ‘The Nutcracker,’ Royale Ballet Dance Academy welcomes guest dancers Dusty Button and Jonathan Batista as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier. You’ll have four chances to see their child-friendly production Dec. 7 & 8 at the Eisemann Center.

Granbury Theatre Company welcomes Ballet Frontier to the Granbury this holiday season. Besides the opulent costumes and world-class choreography, this years’ show will take place Dec. 8-11 in the beautiful Granbury Opera House.

Photo: Dallas Black Dance Academy

Dallas Black Dance Academy presents its 2nd annual ‘Espresso Nutcracker.’ This new twist on the holiday classic is the only Nutcracker of color in the DFW area. It features excerpts from the jazz-influenced music of Duke Ellington’s ‘Nutcracker Suite.’ It happens one night only on Dec. 13 at Dallas’ Majestic Theatre.

Got kids with short attention spans? Join Dallas Repertoire Ballet as they present their annual production of the ‘The Nutcracker.’ Their fast-paced production is perfect for the tinies and features a cast of 130 dancers from the Allen-based Academy of Dance Arts, the official school of Dallas Repertoire Ballet. The show happens Dec. 13-15 at the Eisemann Center. Also, once again Dallas Repertoire Ballet is offering a “sensory-friendly performance” at the 2 p.m. show on Saturday, Dec. 14. This performance is specifically designed for children with sensory processing disorders like autism, Asperger syndrome, Down syndrome, and other special needs.

Looking for a way to visit the Land of Sweets without breaking the bank? 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.  Starting at just $15 a ticket it’s one of the most affordable Nutcrackers around. There will be two performances on Dec. 14 at Mansfield ISD Center for the Performing Arts.

Ring in the holiday season with The Frisco Ballet’s performance of ‘The Nutcracker.’ This year there will be two performances on Dec. 14, at Lebanon Trail High School in Frisco. At just $19 per person, it’s also an affordable way to get your Nutcracker fix. 

Dancers from Oklahoma, Colorado, Ohio, New York, Europe, and 30 communities in the north-central region of Texas make up Denton’s Festival Ballet of North Central Texas. Catch the company’s magical production of ‘The Nutcracker’ Dec. 14 & 15 at the Margo Jones Performance Hall at TWU in Denton.

The Tuzar Ballet takes the stage at the Eisemann Center for their 35th annual production of ‘The Nutcracker.’ The company welcomes back two guest principal dancers from the Boston Ballet. Seo Hye Han will perform the parts of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen and John Lam will perform as the Cavalier and Snow King. There are three performances of the lavish and spectacular ballet Dec. 21-22.

Find out who the Nutcracker was before he was a nutcracker 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. Youth Ballet of Texas presents this perfect introduction to the classic ballet at the McKinney North High School on Dec. 21 & 22.

Allen Civic Ballet’s annual presentation of ‘The Nutcracker Ballet’ features a live musical accompaniment from the Allen Philharmonic Orchestra. You can follow Clara as she saves the Nutcracker Prince from the evil Mouse Queen and on their journey through the Kingdom of Sweets at the Performing Arts Center at Allen High School Dec. 21 & 22.

Last, but certainly not least is Collin County Ballet Theatre’s  “Nutcracker” on Dec. 23 & 24 at the Eisemann Center. Returning this year as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Sugar Plum Cavalier are Cuban ballet stars Adiarys Almeida and Taras Dimitro. To make this Nutcracker even more special, the show will also be accompanied live by the Plano Symphony Orchestra.

Photo: Park Cities Studios

For those who crave something a little different  in their holiday dance, here are some alternatives:

Park Cities Studios wants to get you in a New York state of mind with their 11th Annual Rockefeller Christmas Holiday Show. The show features jazz and tap dancing, singing, and Act II of “The Nutcracker” complete with live gingerbread children and snow falling on stage. The only thing missing is the Rockettes! Choose from two matinees, on December 8 at the famous Majestic Theatre.

Ballet Concerto is forgoing nutcrackers for seasonal cheer with their Annual Holiday Special. It begins with “Winter Wonderland,” choreography set to familiar Christmas Tunes. Also on the program is “Hanukah Flamenco” which introduces the audience to the story of Hanukah and “The Christmas Grump,” a ballet based on the story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” The program closes with “O Holy Night,” a reenactment of the nativity in dance. Catch the show Dec. 13 at Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Center.

Ballet Dallas has its own unique take on seasonal dance with ‘Inspired Voices: A Holiday Celebration.’ The show features four different performances of seasonal dance, among them, a ballet set to a choral work and a musical enhancement to the words of the ‘Christmas Story.’ See the holiday spirit come to life through dance at the Eisemann Center Dec. 14 & 15.

Photo: Geppetto's Theater & Workshop

Photo: Geppetto’s Theater & Workshop

Finding a seasonal performance for the itty-bitties can be a little tricky. Many shows are just too long for the average three-year-old. And let’s face it, no parent wants to be stuck in a fancy theater when Junior decides he’s had enough and is ready to leave. ‘Winter Wonderland’ at Geppetto’s Marionette Theater is the perfect solution for the littles. The musical variety puppet show is fast-paced, includes lots of audience participation including sing-a-longs, and it even snows on the audience. But the best thing about this show is that it’s only an hour long. The perfect length for short attention spans. You can experience ‘Winter Wonderland’ on select days from now through Dec. 30.

For a complete list of all the fun happening this season, check out Art&Seek’s Holiday Events Theme.

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