‘Tis the season for “The Nutcracker,” and with versions aplenty scattered throughout New York City, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites.
George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker”
New York City Ballet
David H. Koch Theater, Manhattan
Nov. 29 through Jan. 5
Cue the Tschaikovsky and dust off your pointe shoes! Perhaps the most classical version of the ballet offered in New York City, George Balanchine originally debuted his version in 1954, after which it became a holiday staple for many companies around the world. Aside from the iconic choreography, part of the allure of the ballet is the grandiosity of the scenery, which features (among other delights) a one-ton Christmas tree that grows from a height of 12 feet to a whopping 40 feet.
Théâtre XIV, Brooklyn
Nov. 14 through Jan. 26
Choreographed by Austin McCormick, Company XIV’s sultry take on the holiday classic is a decadent affair suited for audiences 21 and older. Fresh off the heels of its pop-infused re-imagining of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” this production blends ballet and baroque burlesque to create a glittery scene decked with virtuosic dancers and singers.
The Salzburg Marionette Theatre
Flushing Town Hall, Queens
Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.
This take on “The Nutcracker” features puppets carved and painted by hand. Operated by the acclaimed Salzburg Marionette Theatre company, the show travels from Austria for this special one-night-only performance.
“The Brooklyn Nutcracker”
Kings Theatre, Brooklyn
Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
A true celebration of Brooklyn, this “Nutcracker” melds ballet, Native American hoop dancing, hip-hop and more to tell a story of the borough, from old Dutch Brooklyn to Flatbush Avenue. The production debuted in 2016, with direction and choreography by Lynn Parkerson, the company’s founder and artistic director.
“The Hip Hop Nutcracker”
Kings Theatre, Brooklyn
Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
“The Hip Hop Nutcracker” spins the classical ballet in a new, updated direction with imaginative hip-hop choreography from Jennifer Weber. Retaining Tchaikovksy’s timeless score, the production backs its cast of a dozen dancers with a DJ, violinist and an MC.
If you can’t make it out to the live performance, join ALL ARTS for a special screening of “The Hip Hop Nutcracker” at the Bronx Library Center on Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. or stream the program here.
Keith Michael’s “The Nutcracker”
New York Theatre Ballet
Florence Gould Hall, Manhattan
Dec. 13 through Dec. 15
Fashioned in an Art Nouveau inspired design, this re-imagined version of “The Nutcracker” clocks in at just an hour, making the brightly-colored performance a popular choice for families.
“The Nutcracker Suite”
The Joyce Theater, Manhattan
Dec. 17 through Jan. 5
The world premiere choreographer Michelle Dorrance‘s tap-infused “The Nutcracker Suite” makes landfall amidst a packed program at the Joyce. Riffing off of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s jazz interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s score, Dorrance’s new take on the “Nutcracker” is sure to push the classic in a new direction.
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Top Image: Company XIV's "Nutcracker Rouge." Photo: Mark Shelby Perry.