No matter how inundated my email is with apparently fabulous “not to be missed” offers or how jaded I get by mid-October from trying to avoid an early onslaught of holiday music, there is always one event or activity that shifts me from bitter and overworked to a warmer holiday mood.
After a retail juggernaut, it’s time to relax and embrace the arts with a holiday tradition, a performance of The Nutcracker Ballet.
The Nutcracker sets a pure tone for the season with its classic script and score that starts with a Christmas Eve party at the Stahlbaum home and transitions into the enchanted dream world where all the Christmas toys come to life. Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet is the perfect blending of gorgeous costumes and magical sets with a timeless story and score. This family-friendly ballet balances out the energy from the craziness of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
You don’t have to even leave the Blue Line to create your own Nutcracker holiday tradition. Plattsburgh’s North Country Ballet Ensemble (NCBE) is hosting its 34th annual production. Professionalism is the focus of NCBE as it draws on its longstanding relationship with New York City’s (NYC) Rebecca Kelly Ballet and other NYC costume designers and artistic staff. This year two NYC professional dancers, The Ailey School’s Therese Wendler as the Sugar Plum Fairy and ABT’s Mikhail Ilyin as the Cavalier, once again join the NCBE cast of regional dancers.
Held at the SUNY Plattsburgh Hartman Theatre over Thanksgiving weekend, opening night for the NCBE The Nutcracker is November 29 at 7:30 pm with additional performances on November 30 at noon and 5 pm and December 1 at 2 pm. All advanced tickets for the Plattsburgh performances are available at the North Country Ballet Ensemble. Lake Placid performance times are December 7 at 1 pm and 7 pm as well as December 8 at 1 pm. All tickets for the December performances may be purchased from the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.
The Wood Theatre’s resident dance company, Adirondack Ballet Theatre, is presenting its 28th annual Nutcracker Ballet on December 13 at 7 pm, December 14 at 1 pm and 6 pm, as well as December 15 at 1 pm. Tchaikovsky’s timeless holiday classic hosts a cast of 70 students ranging in age from 4-18, as well as regional actors, and guest artists from the Staten Island Ballet.
Just outside the Blue Line, Albany Palace Theatre is bringing a one day visit from the Moscow Ballet. Hand-painted sets, nesting dolls, and snow maidens bring a Russian flair to this classic ballet.
Saratoga City Ballet is bringing its 26th anniversary production of the full-length traditional ballet to Hart Theatre at The Egg. Tickets are available for December 7 at 1:30 pm and 7:30 pm as well as December 8 at 1:30 pm. Happy Nutcracker Season!
Photo of NCBE The Nutcracker courtesy Lake Placid Center for the Arts.