Four weeks of festive fun: dance

If the holidays to you mean “Nutcracker” – never fear: the Twin Cities has several performances that will have you dreaming of sugar plum fairies.

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Madame Bonbonnier in Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy

Photo courtesy Minnesota Dance Theatre

Ballet Minnesota’s Nutcracker

Ballet Minnesota marks its 25th anniversary with its classic performance of the Christmas favorite. All of the students of the ballet school get to perform alongside the pros, sporting costumes designed by the co-founder of the company (more on that in an upcoming post). Performances run tonight through Sunday at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium.

Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy

Staged by the Minnesota Dance Theatre, this variation on the classic story has been staged for close to fifty years, and was once hailed one of the top ten Nutcrackers in the country by the New York Times. Performance run December 14 – 24 at Cowles Center in downtown Minneapolis.

Academy of Russian Ballet’s Nutcracker

The Academy of Russian Ballet presents a classical Russian version of the Nutcracker, performed by academy dancers and featuring James Sewell Ballet principals Leah Gallas as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Nicolas Lincoln as Cavalier. Performances run December 14 – 16 at Eden Prairie High School Performing Arts Center.

Tired of the Nutcracker, but still in the mood for a fairytale? Check out Ballet of the Dolls’ Cinderella, a classic, family-friendly retelling inspired by the artwork of Charles Addams (of Addams family fame). BUT BEWARE: Do not confuse Cinderella with Ballet of the Dolls’ other show this holiday season – SINderella, which is far more naughty than nice, and not appropriate for children. Cinderella runs through December 23; SINderella runs through New Year’s Eve.