Photo by Reed Hutchinson Los Angeles Ballet's Nutcracker
The Nutcracker is arguably the most American of all classical ballets. True, its roots are European -- based on a story by German author E.T.A. Hoffman that was adapted by French author Alexander Dumas pere and then transposed to ballet by another Frenchman, choreographer Marius Petipa, at helm of the Russian Tsar's ballet company. But it was in America, especially the Balanchine version televised in the mid-1950's that elevated the tale of a young girl's Christmas dream from just another ballet in the regular repertoire to a special Christmas season event.
Every year SoCal boasts a bumper crop of Nutcracker performances and this year is no exception. The best are to be found in the professional productions from Los Angeles Ballet, Inland Pacific Ballet, State Street Ballet and Moscow Ballet and from training companies like Festival Ballet, Pasadena Dance Theatre and Long Beach Ballet, which often augment their casts of pre-professionals with guest artists from professional companies.
And don't overlook several new twists to this classic including L.A. Contemporary Dance Company's witty Urban Nut, the acrobatic spin of the Dalian Acrobatic Troupe's Terracotta Nutcracker and Debbie Allen's Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. With 20 productions throughout December, there's a Nutcracker for everyone.More »