Tis the season for The Nutcracker, and Texas Ballet Theater begins a 17-performance run of the Tchaikovsky classic Friday at Bass Performance Hall. The sumptuous production, choreographed by artistic director Ben Stevenson, features a giant flying sleigh as well as aerial Chinese and Arabian dancers.
Special this year is the return of principal dancer Andre Silva, who will perform the Nutcracker Prince opening night. Wowing audiences here for six seasons, the Brazilian dynamo left Fort Worth in 2009 to join Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal. After five years, he went on to spend a year with Ballet Augsburg in Germany before circling back to Texas.
Silva will partner fellow Brazilian principal Leticia Oliveira in the Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux, a duet in which the two manifested great chemistry here years ago. The Snow King and Queen will be performed by Jiyan Dai and Carolyn Judson. All performances will be accompanied by recorded sound.
Stevenson’s annual Nutcracker satire, The Nutty Nutcracker, is sold out.
For the first time in recent memory, TBT did not perform The Nutcracker in Dallas before opening in Fort Worth. The Dallas Opera took the dates in the Winspear Opera House for a Christmas special, leaving TBT out in the cold. The Fort Worth dance company will resume its Dallas season as usual next year with an iron-tight contract.
To accommodate Dallas patrons this year, roundtrip bus service will be available for this week’s Saturday performances. Pick up and drop off is at 2911 Turtle Creek Blvd. Fare is $10. –– Leonard Eureka
Texas Ballet Theater will perform The Nutcracker thru Dec 27 at Bass Performance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets are $15-186. Call 817-731-0726.