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TBT’s The Nutcracker makes its holiday appearance at Bass Hall.

Fresh from its Dallas appearance, Texas Ballet Theater begins a 19-performance run of The Nutcracker Friday in Bass Performance Hall. The lavish production of the Tchaikovsky classic, one of the company’s best shows, is a heartwarming experience, even backed up with recorded music. TBT’s popular Nutty Nutcracker, a one-night spoof of the ballet, current events, and whatever pops into artistic director Ben Stevenson’s head, is scheduled for Dec. 15. The annual comedy always packs the house.

Last summer, Stevenson went to Brisbane to set Swan Lake for the Queensland Ballet, where he and the company’s artistic director, Li Cunxin, came up with the idea of exchanging dancers for the upcoming Nutcracker season. One couple from each company would travel to the other and give two performances of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Prince. TBT’s Samantha Pille and Jiyan Dai leave for Australia Dec. 16. Yanela Pinera and Camilo Ramos of the Queensland Ballet will perform here Dec. 20 and 22.

If all goes well, this could open the door for future exchanges with this and other companies, adding another dimension to TBT’s programming.

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The Nutcracker runs Fri thru Dec 24 at Bass Performance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets are $20-115. Call 877-828-9200

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