If you looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the holidays this year, I suggest checking out one of the numerous Nutcrackers or seasonal dance productions happening across the Dallas-Fort Worth area the next couple of weeks. There is certainly something for everyone to enjoy from the elaborate sets and beautiful costumes to, in some cases, live music and wonderful dancing by notable guest artists and company members. And if The Nutcracker is making you feel a little nutty this season, then go see one of the many seasonal dance concerts being offered by both professional and pre-professional dance companies.
All the larger dance companies have something going on this season. Texas Ballet Theater will be splitting its time between Dallas and Fort Worth with its multiple showings of The Nutcracker and will once again bring its hilarious, adult-centered Nutty Nutcracker to Bass Performance Hall for one-night only on Dec 15. Fort Worth-based Ballet Frontier of Texas is bringing its Nutcracker production back to the Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium and will also be taking the show on the road to Waco.
On the other side of the Metroplex the Moscow Ballet returns with The Great Russian Nutcracker at Southern Methodist University’s McFarlin Auditorium. Dallas Black Dance Theatre also invites you to mix and mingle while viewing works by DBDT and DBDT: Encore! at its Black on Black performance. For fans of Bruce Wood Dance, the company will be performing a shortened version of Mistletoe Magic at NorthPark Center. And Avant Chamber Ballet is offering up two different holiday dance experiences with its Nutcracker: Short and Suite and A Ballet Christmas Carol both with live accompaniment.
And if you’re into live music then you might also want to consider seeing Nutcrackers presented by LakeCities Ballet Theatre in Lewisville; Allen Civic Ballet in Allen; and Collin County Ballet Theater at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson.
The Eisemann Center continues to be a popular venue for many companies’ Nutcracker performances, including Chamberlain Performing Arts, Dallas Repertoire Ballet, Royale Ballet Dance Academy and Tuzer Ballet. The Irving Arts Center will once again host Ballet Ensemble of Texas and Momentum Dance Company’s Nutcrackers while Dallas Ballet Company returns to the Granville Arts Center in Garland for the company’s 31st Nutcracker. For those who living up in Denton, the Margo Jones Performance Hall on Texas Woman’s University campus is the place to be for Festival of North Central Texas and Denton City Contemporary Dance’s holiday shows.
You can also see irreverent takes on The Nut with MBS Productions’ annual comedy, which this year has a few notable additions; the annual Nearly Naked Nutcracker at burlesque house Viva’s Lounge in the Design District; and two very different takes on The Nutcracker screened in movie theaters.
A list of professional and pre-professional productions of The Nutcracker and other holiday-themed dance in the area can be found below.
Ballet Frontier of Texas presents The Nutcracker, with choreography by Chung-Lin Tseng at Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth. Tickets $30-40. Call 817-689-7310 or visit www.balletfrontier.org
Moscow Ballet returns to Dallas with its rendition of The Great Russian Nutcracker at Southern Methodist University’s McFarlin Auditorium. Tickets $28-130. Call 800-745-3000 or visit www.tickmaster.com
Choreographed by Artistic Director Jacquelyn Ralls Forcher, Momentum Dance Company brings its retelling of The Nutcracker to the Irving Arts Center. Tickets: $13.50-22.50. Call 972-252-2787 or visit www.irvingartscenter.com
Chamberlain Performing Arts annual showing of The Nutcracker features New York City Ballet principles Tiler Peck and Tyler Angle at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. Tickets $15-100. Call 972.744.4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com
Nov. 24-Dec. 3 (Dallas)
Nov. 8-24 (Fort Worth)
Texas Ballet Theater presents Ben Stevenson’s version of The Nutcracker, which runs Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 1-3 at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas and Dec. 8-10, 14, 16-17, and 20-24 at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. This year there is a dancer swap with the Queensland Ballet in Australia. TBT’s Samantha Pille and Jiyan Dai will travel to Australia the week of Dec. 16, and Yanela Pinera and Camilo Ramos will perform the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy and Nutcracker Prince on Dec. 20 and 22 at Bass Performance Hall. Tickets: $20-$135. Call 877-828-9200 or visit www.texasballettheater.org
Nov. 24-Dec. 26
MBS Productions brings back its hit The Beulaville Baptist Book Club Presents a Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker, and this year it has moved up to the mainstage space at the Addison Theatre Center. Also, artistic director and writer Mark-Brian Sonna is retiring in the lead role this year. Tickets: $22-$40. Call 214-477-4942 or visit www.burlesquenutcracker.com
LakeCities Ballet Theatre celebrates the holiday season with its rendition of The Nutcracker, featuring live music from Lewisville Lake Symphony and guest artists Sarah Lane of American Ballet Theater and Daniel Ulbricht of New York City Ballet. Tickets: $25-45. Call 972-317-7987 or visit www.lakecitiesballet.org
Dec. 1-3 and 8-10
With a cast of more than 200 students, Dallas Ballet Company presents its 31st production of The Nutcracker at the Granville Arts Center in Garland. Tickets: $25-30. Call 972-205-2790 or visit www.garlandarts.com
Ballet Ensemble of Texas, under the direction of Allan Kinzie, presents the holiday classic at the Irving Arts Center. This year BET alumna Emily Dixon will perform the role of Sugar Plum Fairy with local professional Shea Johnson as her Cavalier. Tickets: $25-30. Call 972-252-2787 or visit www.irvingartscenter.com
North Central Ballet’s rendition of The Nutcracker at the Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth. Tickets: $35. Visit www.nutcrackertickets.com
Dec. 1 and 3
Collin County Ballet Theatre’s annual production of The Nutcracker features live music from Plano Symphony Orchestra at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. Tickets: $27-87. Call 972-744-4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com
For the first time, Ballet Frontier of Texas takes its Nutcracker show on the road to Midway ISD Performing Arts Center in Waco. Tickets: $35-45. Call 817-689-7310 or visit www.balletfrontier.org
Royale Ballet Dance Academy celebrates its 14th production of The Nutcracker at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. Guest artists include Adrian Aguirre as the Nutcracker Prince and Mason Anders as the Cavalier. Tickets: $25-30. Call 972-744-4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com
Dallas Repertoire Ballet brings its 25th rendition of the beloved holiday tale to the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. This year DRB is offering a sensory-friendly performance on Dec. 9. Tickets: $22-52. Call 972-744-4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com
Rowlett Dance Academy presents its 16th annual production of The Nutcracker at Garland High School. Tickets $15. Call 972-475-8269 or visit www.rowlettdanceacademy.com
Festival Ballet of North Central Texas showing of The Nutcracker at Texas Woman’s University, Margo Jones Performance Hall in Denton. Tickets: $20-40. Call 940-891-0830 or visit www.festivalballet.net
Broads and Panties Burlesque does the popular The Nearly Naked Nutcracker: A Burlesque Ballet, which has women and men performers, and uses some of Tchaikovsky’s music. Tickets: $22. www.nearlynakednutcracker.com
Texas Ballet Theater brings The Nutty Nutcracker, its PG-13 spoof of The Nutcracker, to Bass Performance Hall for one night only. The image on the cover is from Nutty, where you might see an appearance by Edward Scissorhands. Tickets: $45-200. Call 877-828-9200 or visit www.texasballettheater.org
Colleyville Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker comes to the Irving Arts Center. Tickets: $26-41. Call 972-252-2787 or visit www.irvingartscenter.com
Art Ballet Academy offers up its version of The Nutcracker at the Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts in Mansfield. Tickets: $15-23. Call 817-299-1230 or visit www.abacademy.com
Tuzer Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. This is the first year the ballet is not staged by co-founder/artistic director Tanju Tuzer. Tickets: $15-60. Call 972-744-4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com
The Allen Civic Ballet presents its annual production of the holiday classic with live musical accompaniment by the Allen Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra at the Allen High School Performing Arts Center in Allen. Tickets: $15-30. Visit www.allencivicballet.org/nutracker
Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker can be seen in movie theaters, at 12:55 p.m. at NorthPark Center 15 and Cinemark 17 with IMAX in Dallas; and Tinseltown Movies 17 in Grapevine. Tickets: $19.50. Visit www.FathomEvents.com
Another big screen Nut is the MeshugaNutcracker, a musical comedy that uses folklore of Chelm (a fictional town of fools) underscored by a Klezmer version of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite,” including original lyrics that celebrate Chanukah. Shown at the Cinemark 14 in Cedar Hill; and NorthPark Center 15 and Cinemark 17 with IMAX in Dallas. Tickets: $11-$14. www.FathomEvents.com
OTHER HOLIDAY DANCE
Avant Chamber Ballet returns to White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake with its holiday production of Nutcracker: Short and Suite. This one-act Nutcracker presented by Apex Arts League includes updated choreography and costumes. Tickets: $20 Adult, $15 Seniors-Students-Apex Members. Call 800-481-8914 or visit www.apex-arts.org
Bruce Wood Dance is offering a condensed version of Mistletoe Magic at NorthPark Center. Visit www.brucewooddance.org
The Dallas Conservatory annual Rockefeller Christmas at the Majestic features Radio City-style fun for all ages. This year’s production stars Olga Pavlova as Sugar Plum Fairy and Yevgeni Anfinogenov as her Cavalier in their farewell performance, plus jazz dancing, tap dancing, singing, and Act II of The Nutcracker complete with live gingerbread children and snow falling on stage, at The Majestic Theatre in downtown Dallas. Tickets $25-$100. Visit www.ParkCitiesDance.com/
8&1 Dance Company celebrates the season with In the Spirit at the Quixotic World in Dallas. Visit www.8and1dance.com
Ballet Concerto presents its annual A Holiday Special at Ballet Concerto’s studio in Fort Worth. The program includes familiar Christmas tunes with choreography by Margo Dean and Christine Hay. Tickets: $12 for ages 10 and up, $20 for students and seniors and $25 for adults. Call 817-738-7915 or visit www.balletconcerto.com
Contemporary Ballet Dallas presents Holiday at the Ballet at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson. CBD and the School of CBD Youth Performing Ensemble present favorite dances within Act II of The Nutcracker. The show also includes a premiere by Carter Alexander and a re-staging of former Martha Graham dancer Robert Beard’s Ceremony of Carols. Tickets: $32. Call 972-744-4650 or visit www.eisemanncenter.com
Dallas Black Dance Theatre showcases the choreographic skills of DBDT and DBDT: Encore! at its Black on Black performance at the DBDT Studios in Dallas. Tickets: $40. Call 214-880-0202 or visit www.attpac.org
ImPULSE Dance Project celebrates the season with its fourth production of Snow at the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater. Tickets: $10-17. Visit www.impusedanceproject.org
Avant Chamber Ballet brings the classic Dicken’s tale to life with choreography by Katie Cooper and live music in A Ballet Christmas Carol at Moody Performance Hall. Tickets: $15-35. Visit www.ticketdfw.com
Denton City Contemporary Ballet presents A Gift for Emma at Margo Jones Performance Hall. Tickets: $15-25. Call 940-383-2623 or visit www.dentoncitycontemporary.org
» Katie Dravenstott is a freelance writer and dance instructor in Dallas. Visit her blog at www.kddance.wordpress.com