As soon as the Thanksgiving Day turkey comes off the table, and before the leftovers are done, Nutcracker season will be upon us.
The DMV has the distinct pleasure of hosting two world-class runs of the classic Christmas tale by the Chicago-based Joffrey Ballet and our own Washington Ballet, each with its own unique spin on the story, rewritten by Alexander Dumas based on the story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse” by German-author E.T.A. Hoffman. The famous and beloved score by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky has become classic Christmas fare worldwide.
The Washington Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” is a local favorite, with many of the elements of the story adapted to include Washington icons like the waltz of the Cherry Blossoms, modifying the Waltz of the Flowers, in the story of young Clara and the Nutcracker who turns into a charming prince in her winter-themed dream. “The Nutcracker” is transformed into George Washington, and a duet between an Anacostian brave and maiden is incorporated into the traditional folk dances from the original version.
This multicultural annual holiday showcase features dancers from the professional Washington Ballet Company as well as students from the ballet school. Set in Victorian Georgetown, the local touches, familiar faces of the dancers and extended run make this “Nutcracker” a favorite stop for families and visitors to the area for the holidays.
The Washington Ballet’s “Nutcracker” premieres at THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. on Thanksgiving weekend with shows on Saturday, Nov. 28, and Sunday, Nov. 29, before it moves on to the Warner Theater, 513 13th St. N.W. for the rest of its run through Dec. 27, which makes it the perfect performance to prepare, celebrate and remember the Christmas holiday this year.
Family Day is Sunday, Dec. 6, the Warner Theater, and Military Appreciation Day is Wednesday, Dec. 9. Call The Washington Ballet at 202-362-3606 for more information, or visit www.washingtonballet.org.
If you want a more grandiose version of “The Nutcracker,” then head over to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the Joffrey Ballet’s version of this Christmas story. With opulent Victorian American scenery and dazzling costumes, along with superior professional dancing, this version of the story was conceived and directed by the company’s founder and original director, Robert Joffrey, who passed away in 1988.
At the Kennedy Center, local flavor is added by the Arlington Children’s Chorus, which lends its voices to a magical Snow Scene featuring a parade of ballerina snowflakes.
With selected choreography by Gerald Arpino set to Tchaikovsky’s classic score, the Joffrey’s version of the Christmas story has fans around the world, and the DMV has the opportunity to see it Nov. 25 through Nov. 29 at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House. This is the last chance to see this version by Robert Joffrey, as D.C. is the last venue that will host it before it is revamped for the 2016-2017 season in the troupe’s hometown of Chicago.
Visit www.kennedy-center.org for showtimes and ticket prices.