Holiday traditions in Austin run the gamut – the Tree of Lights, Holiday Stroll, Armadillo Bazaar and of course Ballet Austin‘s incredible production of The Nutcracker. This amazing ballet, known for its growing tree, wonderful story and amazing score, allows Austinites to discover the magic of the classic story every year. This year, the 52nd annual performance from Ballet Austin reprises the costumes and sets from last year, to the delight of audiences.
Beginning this past weekend the beloved characters danced across the beautifully adorned stage to the well-known classic music. As
in year’s past, every performance includes a different Mother Ginger, and this season Ballet Austin has decided to honor educators by selecting many of them to act the part. Before the show begins, Mother Ginger of the night or afternoon is introduced outside of costume. On opening night, this was performed by Rich Cleary, U.S. Regional Sales Manager at 3M. As the audience was assured, he looked very different when he came out as the iconic character to thunderous applause.
Our story begins with a Christmas party hosted by Herr and Frau Silberhaus and their children, Clara and Fritz, attended by fashionable couples. As the night continues, the usual festivities are halted when Drosselmeyer enters the gift-giving fray. In addition to life-sized dancing dolls, he also presents Clara with a beautiful Nutcracker. Soon the attendees retire and the house is taken over by its nighttime inhabitants: the mice. When Clara goes to check on her Nutcracker, she is transported to another world ruled by the Rat King whom she must defeat. At the close of the second act, Clara has seen mythical wonders including the Snow King and Queen and their Snow Flakes. Following the intermission, Clara enters the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. She is treated to a magnificent show with dances from around the world and then a performance from the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.
The sets especially far exceed expectations, beautifully capturing each scene and setting. Every culturally themed dance is also accompanied by set pieces that fit with the music. The Land of Snow exhibits the magic of falling snow by sending down fake flakes onto the stage. Each scene flows seamlessly, driven by the amazing dancers, including 136 student performers from Ballet Austin Academy. By far, one of the best parts of any Nutcracker production is the orchestra and the Austin Symphony certainly does a thrilling job at portraying the story and letting all enjoy their favorites. In addition to the show, the night also contains themed drinks for adults and kids and a chance to purchase Nutcracker memorabilia. The classic Christmas event continues until December 23 so that all of Austin can experience the magic of The Nutcracker.
WHEN: Through December 23, 2014
The Long Center
701 W. Riverside Dr.
Austin, TX 78704
TICKETS: Please click here to purchase tickets.