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The Great 2018 "Nutcracker" Round Up

Pacific Northwest Ballet in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Photo by Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB.

Thanksgiving is just days away, and while to some that means family and football, to bunheads it means one thing only: Nutcracker is coming. Looking for a Nut near you? We know that your next few weeks will be too busy with rehearsals to keep your eye on ballet news, so we've decided to help you out by rounding up 71 of our nation's Nutcrackers, state by state.

We're not perfect! If we missed a major Nutcracker production, we want to know. Email clansky@dancemedia.com for consideration.


Alabama

Alabama Ballet: December 14-23, Alabama Ballet presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Alabama Ballet is one of only eight companies in the world licensed by The Balanchine Trust to perform this classic version.

Mobile Ballet: December 15-16 Mobile audiences can see The Nutcracker with choreography by artistic director Katia Garza.

Montgomery Ballet: See the 43rd annual season of The Nutcracker in theaters in Tallassee, Greenville and Montgomery November 25-December 9.

Alaska

Eugene Ballet: Oregon-based Eugene Ballet brings their Nutcracker to Anchorage November 25-27.

Arizona

Ballet Arizona: Choreographed by artistic director Ib Andersen, Ballet Arizona's The Nutcracker runs December 13-24.

Arkansas

Ballet Arkansas: December 7-9 marks Ballet Arkansas' 40th anniversary of its Nutcracker.

California

American Ballet Theatre: ABT brings artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker to Costa Mesa's Segerstrom Center for the Arts December 14-23.

American Contemporary Ballet: Running December 1-24 in Los Angeles, ACB's immersive The Nutcracker Suite brings audiences into the action.

City Ballet of San Diego: Accompanied by The City Ballet Orchestra, City Ballet of San Diego's The Nutcracker is on the stage December 7-23.

Inland Pacific Ballet: Running December 1-23 at theaters in Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside and Claremont, Island Pacific Ballet presents one performance of The Nutty Nutcracker, a zany take on the classic, in each location.

Los Angeles Ballet: L.A. Ballet's Nutcracker, choreographed by Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary and set in 1912 Los Angeles, runs November 24-December 24.

Miami City Ballet: Catch MCB in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, featuring sets and costumes brand new last year, at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion November 30-December 2.

Sacramento Ballet: December 14-23 marks the world premiere of Sacramento Ballet's new Nutcracker, choreographed by recently appointed artistic director Amy Seiwert.

San Francisco Ballet: In 1944, America's first Nutcracker debuted on San Francisco Ballet's stage. Catch it this year December 12-29.

Smuin Ballet: The Christmas Ballet is not technically a Nut, but we figure it makes the cut anyways. Smuin Ballet's holiday extravaganza includes tap, jazz and swing alongside classical ballet. See it November 30-December 24.

Colorado

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet: ASFB's whimsical and humorous The Nutcracker! will be shown on Aspen stages December 8-9. Scroll down to New Mexico for the Santa Fe showings.

Colorado Ballet: Running November 24-December 24, this Nut is the largest in the state of Colorado.

Connecticut

Connecticut Ballet: New York City Ballet stars Lauren Lovette and Taylor Stanley join Connecticut Ballet December 15, and American Ballet Theatre's Devon Teuscher and Alexandre Hammoudi make their way to Stamford December 16.

Delaware

First State Ballet Theatre: Join Delaware's ballet company for The Nutcracker at Wilmington's Grand Opera House December 21-23.

Florida

Miami City Ballet: MCB presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker December 7-30 in three theaters in the greater Miami area. This is the second year to see MCB's new costume and set design by Isabel and Ruben Toledo.

Orlando Ballet: Orlando Ballet's Nutcracker will bring a bit of holiday magic to the Walt Disney Theater December 7-16.

Georgia

Atlanta Ballet: Atlanta Ballet presents a brand new Nutcracker December 8-24 choreographed by Yuri Possokhov and including world-class set, costume and projection designs. This is the company's first new Nut in 20 years.

Savannah Ballet Theatre: Catch this Nutcracker, set in 1940s Savannah, on December 1.

Hawaii 

Ballet Hawaii: Set in the 1858 Kingdom of Hawaii and choreographed by Septime Webre, Ballet Hawaii's The Nutcracker features guest stars from New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and Carolina Ballet. On stages December 14-16.

Idaho

Ballet Idaho: December 13-16 marks Boise audiences' last chance to see Ballet Idaho's The Nutcracker, choreographed by Peter Anastos. The company will unveil a new production as part of its 2019/20 season.

Illinois

Joffrey Ballet: In 2016 the Joffrey debuted Christopher Wheeldon's The Nutcracker, setting the story at Chicago's 1893 World's Fair. This new classic runs December 1-30.

Indiana

Fort Wayne Ballet: The Nutcracker returns to Fort Wayne November 30-December 9. Select performances also feature the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Indianapolis Ballet: Though the Indianapolis School of Ballet has been presenting its Nutcracker for the past 11 years, it's now enhanced by the addition of Indianapolis Ballet, the fledgling professional company that launched last winter. Catch it December 14-16.

Kentucky

Louisville Ballet: Val Caniparoli's Nutcracker graces Louisville stages December 8-23 with a sensory-friendly performance December 9.

Maine

Portland Ballet: The Victorian Nutcracker returns to Portland December 21-23.

Massachusetts

Boston Ballet: Artistic director Miko Nissinen's The Nutcracker, based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's original story, returns to Boston November 29-December 30.

José Mateo Ballet Theatre: José Mateo's Nutcracker comes to stages in Boston and Dorchester November 30-December 23.

Michigan

Grand Rapids Ballet: December 14-23, Grand Rapids Ballet presents its Nutcracker featuring choreography Val Caniparoli and designs by Chris Van Allsburg, known for his work on The Polar Express.

Missouri

Kansas City Ballet: Running November 30-December 23, Kansas City Ballet's Nutcracker also offers a sensory friendly performance on December 12.

Saint Louis Ballet: This year, in addition to the standard run December 14-23, Saint Louis Ballet is offering a special shortened and narrated "no-shushing" Nutcracker on December 19 for young children or teens and adults with shorter attention spans.

Nebraska

American Midwest Ballet: AMB brings three performances of The Nutcracker to Omaha audiences November 18, December 8-9.

Nevada

Nevada Ballet Theatre: December 8-24, NBT will delight Las Vegas balletomanes with The Nutcracker, choreographed by James Canfield.

New Jersey

American Repertory Ballet: Two performances on November 23 will star New York City Ballet's Joseph Gordon and Unity Phelan (an alumna of Princeton Ballet School). ARB's Nut continues its run through December 23.

New Mexico

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet: Santa Fe audiences can catch ASFB's The Nutcracker December 15-16.

New York

Brooklyn Ballet: The Brooklyn Nutcracker comes to Flatbush December 14. Celebrating Brooklyn's unique culture, this production fuses ballet with hip-hop and other forms, taking audiences through a history of the borough.

Dances Patrelle: Francis Patrelle's The Yorkville Nutcracker, set in 1895, takes audiences through some of New York City's most loved landmarks, including Gracie Mansion and the New York Botanical Garden. This year's performances, December 6-9, include New York City Ballet guest stars Abi Stafford and Ask La Cour.

Mark Morris' The Hard Nut: Co-presented by the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Academy of Music December 14-23, The Hard Nut is a retro-modern, gender-bending retelling of Hoffmann's famous story.

New York City Ballet: NYCB presents George Balanchine's original, beloved The Nutcracker November 23-December 30.

New York Theatre Ballet: This Art Nouveau-style ballet, choreographed by Keith Michael, runs December 14-16.

North Carolina

Carolina Ballet: Carolina Ballet brings the magic of the Nutcracker to Raleigh audiences December 1-30.

Charlotte Ballet: Charlotte Ballet's Nutcracker, choreographed by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, got a sprucing up in 2016 with all new sets and costumes. See it December 7-23.

Ohio

BalletMet: Co-created by Gerard Charles and Robert Post, BalletMet's The Nutcracker hits Columbus stages December 7-23.

Cincinnati Ballet: December 13-24 marks Cincinnati Ballet's The Nutcracker, this year featuring a special addition: Cincinnati's own celebrity hippo, Fiona.

Cleveland Ballet: Following a sold out run in 2017, Cleveland Ballet's Nutcracker returns December 13-16.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City Ballet: Robert Mills' staging of The Nutcracker can be seen December 14-23.

Tulsa Ballet: Marcello Angelini set Tulsa Ballet's The Nutcracker in the birthplace of classical ballet, 1920s Paris. Check it out December 8-23.

Oregon

Ballet Fantastique: December 14-16 marks the world premiere of Ballet Fantastique's new holiday ballet, the lost holiday fairytale Babes in Toyland.

Eugene Ballet: Join Eugene Ballet for its Nutcracker, December 21-23 followed by a tour to cities in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

Oregon Ballet Theatre: Oregon's largest ballet company presents George Balanchine's The Nutcracker December 8-26 in Portland.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Ballet: See Pennsylvania Ballet in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, billed as "Philadelphia's greatest holiday tradition," December 7-31.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre: PBT's The Nutcracker, choreographed by artistic director Terrence Orr, is set in turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh. Running November 30-December 27, including a sensory-friendly performance on December 27.

Rhode Island

Festival Ballet Providence: This classic Nutcracker comes to Providence December 21-23.

Island Moving Co: ICM's Newport Nutcracker at Rosecliff is a bit different than the typical theater-going experience. Audiences follow the action through Rosecliff Mansion, from room to room. Running November 21-30.

South Carolina

Columbia City Ballet: See CCB's Nutcracker December 8-16 in Columbia.

Tennessee

Ballet Memphis: Ballet Memphis' Nutcracker features an after performance opportunity to pose for photos with your favorite characters. Running December 7-9.

Nashville Ballet: Set in the city of Nashville with choreography by Paul Vasterling, Nashville's Nutcracker is up December 1-23.

Texas

Ballet Austin: Ballet Austin's The Nutcracker features a rotating list of local celebrities in the role of Mother Ginger; this year's roundup includes football star Vince Young and Austin's police chief. Running December 7-23.

Houston Ballet: After a tumultuous year in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Houston Ballet is finally back in their home theater for this year's holiday season. Catch the company at the Wortham Theater November 23-December 29.

Texas Ballet Theater: See artistic director Ben Stevenson's The Nutcracker on Dallas stages November 23-December 2 and in Fort Worth December 7-24. If that's not enough, you can catch TBT's Nutty Nutcracker December 14, a one-night-only satirical take on pop culture and current events.

Utah

Ballet West: Last year, Ballet West added new sets, costumes and special effects to its Nutcracker, featuring Willam Christensen's historical choreography. See it again this year, December 14-29.

Virginia

Richmond Ballet: Richmond Ballet presents The Nutcracker in Norfolk December 7-9 and in Richmond December 14-23. Best of all, December 15 and 20 mark the company's annual Pupcracker in partnership with the Richmond SPCA.

Washington

Pacific Northwest Ballet: Seattle-based? Check out PNB's George Balanchine's The Nutcracker November 23-December 28.

Washington, D.C.

Ballet West at The Kennedy Center: Each year, The Kennedy Center brings one U.S. company to share their Nutcracker with the nation's capitol. See Ballet West December 5-9.

The Washington Ballet: TWB celebrates 15 years of Septime Webre's The Nutcracker November 24-December 28, split between two different theaters. Set in historic 1882 Georgetown, this production features historical figures like George Washington and King George III.

Wisconsin

Milwaukee Ballet: Milwaukee Ballet's The Nutcracker hits the stage December 8-26, with a sensory friendly performance on December 20.

Puerto Rico 

Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico's only full-length Nutcracker didn't go on last year due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria. This year Ballet Concierto is back for its 37th season. El Cascanueces runs November 29-December 2.

The Conversation
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Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB

Your teacher at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Marcia Dale Weary, recently passed away. What impact did she have on you?

I feel deeply indebted to her. She shaped my life's course, and I know that were it not for her, I would not be living out my dream today. She led by example through her remarkable commitment to her work, as well as her genuine kindness and generosity.

You were a trainee with San Francisco Ballet. What was that experience like?

It was an exposure to different schools of thought. We were mostly in the full-lengths, and watching run-throughs of Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote was revolutionary for me. But I was young and far away from home. That transition was hard. My body started changing. It wanted to be fleshy. Biology is cruel in that way. I desperately wanted to fit in, but it wasn't meant to be.

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