Live Performances of ‘The Nutcracker' Return to North Texas Stages

Performances of the holiday classic will be in Dallas, Fort Worth, Grapevine and Richardson.

Espresso Nutcracker Dallas Black Dance Theatre
Amitava Sarkar

At dance companies in North Texas, it’s beginning to look a lot like a normal Christmas.

Last year, dance companies chose to cancel annual productions of "The Nutcracker" or offer performances in an alternative format. With the widespread availability of vaccines and safety protocols in place, the holiday classic is back on stages in North Texas.

Texas Ballet Theater is presenting "The Nutcracker" in Dallas and Fort Worth at two venues with evolving pandemic protocols. Beginning Friday, the ballet company will present "The Nutcracker" at the Winspear Opera House in the Dallas Arts District. The Winspear Opera House requires all patrons to wear masks and to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

Mary Ashley Ray (Texas Ballet Theater)
Texas Ballet Theater will be presenting The Nutcracker at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth and Winspear Opera House in Dallas.

Performances at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth begin Dec. 10. Patrons ages 18 and older must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination and photo identification. Guests younger than 18 without ID must be accompanied by an adult with proper identification. Guests younger than 12 do not provide a negative COVID-19 test result. All patrons are required to wear a mask.

The ballet company has links to the Bass Performance Hall and AT&T Performing Arts Center websites for patrons to learn more about the safety protocols.

"The Nutcracker" is part of Avant Chamber Ballet’s return to indoor performances.

“We are so grateful to return to theaters with such a full season planned,” ACB Artistic Director Katie Puder said. “After a challenging year, I cannot wait to have the magic that is created between the dancers, musicians and the audience.”

Avant Chamber Ballet
Sharen Bradford
Avant Chamber Ballet is presenting Paul Mejia's production of The Nutcracker for the second time.

This is Avant Chamber Ballet’s second time to present Paul Mejia’s production of "The Nutcracker." It sold out when it premiered in 2019.

With a live orchestra conducted by Brad Cawyer, this is the only full production of "The Nutcracker" in the Dallas Arts District with live music. Avant Chamber Ballet’s professional dancers and a large children’s cast will present the holiday classic at Moody Performance Hall Dec. 9-12.

Dallas Black Dance Academy is presenting its fourth annual "Espresso Nutcracker." Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s entire 2020 season was virtual. This year’s live performance of "Espresso Nutcracker" will be complemented with live-streamed and on-demand viewing options.

DBD Academy Director Katricia Eaglin choreographed this year’s production with the assistance of the academy ballet instructors of the Pre-Professional Division levels 1-4 students. The academy students will perform all the key roles in "Espresso Nutcracker" with Dallas Black Dance Theatre professional dancers performing the adult characters of Mother, Father, and Drosselmeyer.

“I was inspired to create and produce the 'Espresso Nutcracker' for Dallas Black Dance Academy so our academy students could be involved in the Nutcracker tradition,” Eaglin said. “We’re excited to have our students re-enter the theatre and share how they have grown while training virtually during the 2020-2021 season.” 

Espresso Nutcracker will be presented December 11 at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas.

Eaglin uses the traditional Tchaikovsky music along with tracks from Duke Ellington’s "Nutcracker Suite," selecting Ellington tracks that were still recognizable to the original work. She added narration to the performance to unlock the mystery and magic of the storyline. Eaglin also added an African dance to the Land of Sweets Act that includes Spanish, Arabian, Chinese, and Russian dances in the original.

"Espresso Nutcracker" will be presented Dec. 11 at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas.

The Eisemann Center for Performing Arts and Corporate Presentations in Richardson is the Grand Central Station for "The Nutcracker," hosting multiple productions of this holiday favorite.

With masks strongly recommended for patrons, this year’s festive circuit began in mid-November and continues through December. The Chamberlain Ballet’s production is Nov. 26-28. Royale Ballet Dance Academy is Dec. 4-5. Dallas Repertoire Ballet’s production is Dec. 10-12. Tuzer Ballet’s "The Nutcracker" is Dec. 18-19. Collin County Ballet Theatre wraps up the holiday series with performances Dec. 21-22.

North Central Ballet is presenting "The Nutcracker" for the 27th year and transforming a pandemic adjustment into a fun tradition. In 2020, the ballet company decided to perform "The Nutcracker" outdoors. Its popularity merited a repeat performance.

“North Central Ballet was thrilled last year by the response to presenting ‘The Nutcracker’ outdoors, which was a creative way to continue our holiday tradition despite the pandemic,” said Les Jordan, the ballet’s artistic director. “Now we’re continuing this new tradition, where families can enjoy a holiday activity together in a park, where it’s safer.”

The production couples Tchaikovsky’s famous score with digital technology to create scenic backdrops.

“Even though our full-length production isn’t in a theater, audiences will be treated to the traditional elements they love,” Jordan said. “Families can begin their holiday season with their treasured ‘Nutcracker’ socially distanced.”

North Central Ballet Nutcracker in the Park
North Central Ballet
North Central Ballet's outdoor "Nutcracker" was so popular in 2020, it has returned for this holiday season.

North Center Ballet’s "The Nutcracker" will be performed at Meadowmere Park in Grapevine Dec. 3-6.

Ballet North Texas returns to live performances with "The Nutcracker" at Moody Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District. The full stage production features a cast of 60.

Shows will run December 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. with Ballet North Texas’s special sensory friendly performance on Saturday, December 4th at 2:00 p.m.

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