Every year, the Front Range goes nuts for The Nutcracker — and though most live events in the state are shut down because of the pandemic, companies are finding ways to keep Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's holiday spectacular alive through online and broadcast versions, as well as a couple of live performances pushed into 2021.
So grab some hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies, and snuggle up with our roster of the best local Nutcracker performances and festivities.
Centennial State Ballet
Tuesday, December 22, 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 26, at 2 p.m.; and on-demand starting on New Year's Day
The Centennial State Ballet streams a full-length ballet made for film by Kristen Kingsley and Kristen Demaree, with more than eighty dancers and musicians. The story of Clara’s dream-filled adventure to the Land of Sweets is set in various Longmont venues, including the Callahan House, the Longmont Museum’s Stewart Auditorium, and the Longmont Dance Theatre Academy. When you visit the tickets page, you can also purchase goodies from the Cheese Importers.
December 24, 7 p.m., December 25, noon
For decades, the Colorado Ballet has brought The Nutcracker to life. This year, Denver's premier dance troupe is partnering with Rocky Mountain PBS to air a previously recorded version of the ballet throughout the holiday season. It will repeat on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; if those times don't work, check out the production any time on the Colorado Ballet Presents Page or the Rocky Mountain PBS app. For more information or to donate to the company's Relief and Recovery Fund, visit the Colorado Ballet website.
The Hip-Hop Nutcracker
December 22, 7 p.m.
The Hip-Hop Nutcracker is a modern take on Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic. The production will be live-streamed and available on demand at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 22. Tickets are $25 per household and sold via Stellar Tickets. Part of the proceeds will go to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Produced by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Hip-Hop Nutcracker tells the story of Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker Prince as they embark on a dream adventure, fighting a gang of mice, visiting the Land of Sweets, and learning the true meaning of the holiday season. The production includes digital graffiti and is set against the visual landscape of contemporary New York City. This performance includes a cast of all-star dancers, a DJ, a violinist, and hip-hop legend MC Kurtis Blow.
Littleton Ballet Academy
The Littleton Ballet Academy and Littleton Youth Ballet will begin filming their performance of The Nutcracker in January 2021. Streaming dates are to be determined. The cast includes more than 150 children, pre-professional dancers and pros alike, who will sweep you away to a simpler time and enchanting place with stunning sets and backdrops, beautiful wardrobes, and the story of Clara’s trip to the Land of Sweets.
Rachel’s School of Dance
Saturday, February 13, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Ent Center for the Arts
5225 North Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs
Rachel’s School of Dance at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs will present its version of The Nutcracker at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, February 13, at the ENT Center for the Arts. Tickets are on sale now, and only fifty audience members will be allowed at each show, COVID-19 restrictions pending. Audience members are required to wear a mask. You may purchase tickets by phone at 719-255-3232 or email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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