With the delicious holiday of Thanksgiving behind us, we are entering the most beautiful winter period of the year: the time of preparation and expectant waiting for Christmas itself. There is no other theatrical event than the two-act ballet of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker that more suitably expresses the beauty of the season.
Tchaikovsky's music is easily accessible for all: the dreamy costumes and gracious dance appeal to all little would-be prima ballerinas, the enchanting props and scenery mesmerize young and old alike. The action-packed scenes never fail to amaze our young grade school boys either.
Throughout the month of December, this classical ballet will be performed in many towns across Connecticut. The shows will be as diverse as our communities: young aspiring ballet students from dance conservatories, amateur and professional companies will put up their own interpretations of the show. Some perform the traditional plot and choreography, others dream up new readings of the original story and new dances to the well-known music. Below you can read a round-up of upcoming shows. Please, check the venues' or companies' websites for exact show times and ticket prices.
The Nutcracker by the Connecticut Ballet
The State of Connecticut's professional ballet company will perform its traditional production of the holiday ballet in six performances. They will perform two shows at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Connecticut in Storrs on December 11th. The company featuring national and international stars will also perform four shows at the Palace Theatre in Stamford on December 17th, 18th and 23rd.
The Nutcracker Suite & Spicy by CONNetic Dance Company
For an entirely different take on The Nutcracker, you can check out the CONNetic Dance Company's version of the classical ballet. However, do not expect to hear the traditional Tchaikovsky-score or see the breath-taking twirls, jumps and pirouettes of the well-known Ballanchine-production and be ready for a totally different Nutcracker featuring a dance style of fusion athletic dance forms, including jazz, tap and hip-hop. The show is sprinkled with lots of humor - Ugly Sweater Party Scene and high-kicking Florettes are all a part of it - and is set against the backdrop of contemporary art work featuring landmarks of Hartford. The Aetna Theatre at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford hosts two shows on December 17th.
The Mystic Nutcracker
Mystic Ballet's traditional Nutcracker show is also different from the well-known traditional production. It is set to Tchaikovsky's music and features the beloved, familiar characters led by Clara. But the plot is anything but traditional: the story is set in New York's enchantingly beautiful Central Park, involves a fascinating and exciting trip through time and space under the spell of the Rat King, taking the characters and the audience to magical places including Santa's Workshop and the Land of Sweets. The show promises lots of unexpected twists and turns, magical illusions, special effects and beautiful classical and contemporary dance. Two shows will be performed on December 4th and 11th in Mystic.
The Nutcracker by the New England Ballet Company
The New England Ballet Company is putting on their 20th Anniversary Nutcracker show this year. They will be performing the classical show in Bridgeport's Klein Auditorium on December 10th and in Milford's Parsons Government Center on the 17th and 18th.
Nutmeg Ballet brings to life Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker
Theaters will be alive this holiday season with toy soldiers and dueling mice, a princess and sugarplums – a delicious treat for the child in all of us. Nutmeg Ballet is performing their show at the Warner Theatre on 12/10 and 12/11 and the Bushnell on 12/17 & 12/18.
Connecticut Concert Ballet's Nutcracker
Visions of sugarplums will dance in your head after watching this 37th annual Nutcracker performance by these National Ballet Training Students. Shows are on 12/10 & 12/17 2pm and 7pm. 12/11 & 12/18 2pm at Manchester High School's Bailey Auditorium.
More Nutcracker shows across Connecticut
The New Haven Ballet's Nutcracker production features principal dancers from the Boston Ballet this year. The show will run in New Haven's Shubert Theatre on December 16th, 17th and 18th.
The Danbury Symphony Orchestra and over 200 dancers from the Greater Danbury Area will present three Nutcracker shows at the Danbury High School on December 9th, 10th and 11th.
The Cecchetti Ballet Theatre with Hamden-area dancers and guest artists will perform the traditional, full-length ballet on December 10th and 11th in the auditorium of Hamden High School. The Connecticut Dance School will also perform the full-length production at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts on December 10th. The Woodbury Ballet's annual Nutcracker show will be held at the Waterbury Palace Theater on December 17th.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the show: we all need a little magic along with a fairy tale.