December is Nutcracker time, and right on cue, Texas Ballet Theater unveils the first of 16 performances this weekend.
Artistic director Ben Stevenson’s choreography harkens back to the original Russian version of the Tchaikovsky classic for some of its highlights, but the first-act party scene is all his. Set inside a wealthy family’s house teeming with friends and family members, the ballet overflows with mini-dramas everywhere you look. Campbell Baird’s sumptuous scenery and costumes add to the joyful fantasy.
The story follows the adventures of little Clara, who receives a nutcracker prince for Christmas. In her dreams, the toy turns into a real-life prince who protects her from giant rats and then whisks her off to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets.
With all the specialty dances and character roles, just about every dancer gets a crack at a solo. Opening night features Leticia Oliviera as the Sugar Plum Fairy, with Andre Silva as her prince and with Timothy O’Keefe as the wizard.
The Nutcracker runs December 5-21 at
555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets are $19-99.