Nutcracker in New York

Photo: Gelsey Kirkland Nutcracker, 2014. It’s the Holiday season with plenty of Nutcracker ballets on tap. In addition to the Balanchine New York City Ballet version, here are a few very affordable New York City Nutcrackers:

Dances Patrelle presents its annual Yorkville Nutcracker at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, December 6-9 with New York City Ballet’s Abi Stafford and Ask la Cour in the Grand Pas de Deux. The production follows the familiar classic, but in New York locations such as Gracie Mansion, New York Botanical Gardens, Central Park, and the Dakota apartment building. The production from Francis Patrelle has been a staple in New York for the past 23 years, providing a delightful and affordable alternative to the pricey NYCB standard in which ticket prices are $100 for seats in the upper reaches of Koch Theatre.

The production gives ample opportunity for young up and coming dancers, representing 18 New York ballet schools including School of American Ballet, JKO School at ABT, Joffrey Ballet School, and Ballet Academy East. Some of the young dancers have performed in the production for many years.

The Moscow Ballet presents its Nutcracker Saturday, December 8 at 2 pm and 7 pm at Kings Theatre in Brooklyn. The work is directed and choreographed by Stanislav Vlasov, former soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet. The company first toured the Nutcracker in 1993 and tours extensively to cities from San Juan to Calgary, and from New York to California, traveling with two simultaneously touring companies of forty dancers each.

New York Theatre Ballet presents Keith Michael’s Nutcracker, December 14-16 at Florence Gould Hall (55 East 59th Street). The ballet is set in Art Nouveau style circa 1907 with choreography by long-time NYTB choreographer Keith Michael. The one hour ballet is designed for young children ages 3 and up. You won’t be horrified if your child yells “I need to go potty!” as there are plenty of other young children there. NYTB was our daughter’s first ballet experience.

The National Ballet Theater of Odessa performs December 14 at On Stage at Kingsborough in the Brighten Beach, Brooklyn area. This is the company’s first U.S. tour. The National Ballet Theater of Odessa is in residence at the grand Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre in Ukraine.