Snow is on the ground, Christmas lights are twinkling in the crisp air, and it’s time for the Sugar Plum Fairy! While it’s easy to think of the Nutcracker as a hoary old chestnut, it’s a fact that this ballet is many young dancers’ first introduction to the wonders of the dance world. And even for those who never aspire to a life en pointe, the Nutcracker is still one of the delights of the holiday season. In addition, these annual productions often provide ballet companies, even the largest and most renowned, with a large percentage of their annual box office, no small feat given how hard cultural institutions have to work to survive.
Santa Fe is lucky to have the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet bring their Nutcracker back to the Lensic Center each Christmas season, especially since the dancing of this regional troupe gets better and better each year. What a pleasant experience it was this fall to see Twyla Tharp’s work Sue’s Leg exactingly performed by ASFB right here in Santa Fe, then listen to the poetic music of John Cage in a memorable ballet by Itzik Galili entitled Chameleon. I knew my grand-daughter was growing up when I realized she enjoyed these two works as much as she enjoys the Nutcracker. And the gals in our family DO love the tradition of Marie and Herr Drosselmeyer, which began some years ago with my daughter and now includes her daughter too!
No matter how many times I see a production of this holiday ballet, I always find Tchaikovsky’s music thrilling. And there is something really special about walking out of the cold and into a warm theater full of chattering excited little ones that makes the more fretful moments of the holiday season just drop away. So let adult cares drift away for an hour or so, and have the spirit of the season dance into your heart with a visit to this winter ballet wonderland.
Performances: Saturday, December 12, 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm; December 13, 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm
Tickets are available at the Lensic Box Office