For many people, the holidays just aren’t the holidays without a performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, with music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky. From traditional to contemporary, from students to professionals, the six performances listed below cover the spectrum. All are wonderful, all will help usher in the spirit of the season. By Jessica Allen.
The talented dancers of the New York City Ballet will transport you from a theater in Midtown to the wonderland where toys come alive, mice have kings, fairies fly about, and hearts are moved. Probably the city’s most famous, and most popular, performance of The Nutcracker. Friday, November 28, through, Saturday, January 3, see schedule for details, tickets start at $40.
Featuring Kurtis Blow as the guest MC, 12 hip hop dancers, digital scenery, a DJ, and an electric violin, The Hip Hop Nutcracker turns Tschaikovsky on his head, in the coolest possible way. The vision and choreography, by director/choreographer Jennifer Weber, took over a year to execute. Time well spent, as you’ll see if you attend a performance. Saturday, December 13, see schedule for details, tickets start at $10.
Another doozy of a production. For the past five years, the American Ballet Theatre has put on a sumptuous, scrumptious performance of The Nutcracker, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky. You’ve got one last chance to see it this year, as the ABT’s residency at the Brooklyn Academy of Music ends on December 21. Friday, December 19, through Sunday, December 21, see schedule for details, tickets start at $20.
Artistic director and choreographer at Peridance Capezio Center, Igal Perry offers up Winter Journey. He splices together The Nutcracker’s original score with more contemporary tunes, making for a fun, jazzy three-part production. More than 100 dancers, from those just starting their training to pre-professionals to seasoned professionals! Saturday, December 13, and Sunday, December 14, see schedule for details, tickets start at $30.
A mix of ballet students and professionals make up the cast of The Nutcracker NYC at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. Note the event’s subtitle: A Contemporary Ballet. Choreographed by Giada Ferrone, the performance features her signature blend of joyful, yet correct movement. We particularly like the diversity of the cast at this one. Saturday, December 13, and Sunday, December 14, see schedule for details, tickets start at $20.
Set atop a mantle in the early 1900s, with a great dose of Art Nouveau, the New York Theatre Ballet’s version of The Nutcracker is designed specifically with little ones in mind. At just one hour, it’s not so long that you, or they, will have a case of the fidgets, but it’s long enough to make sure that the kids in your life get a taste of the ballet’s magic. Friday, December 19, through Sunday, December 21, see schedule for details, tickets start at $39.