The Nutcracker could give Santa Claus himself a run for his gingerbread cookies when it comes to things synonymous with Christmas. The music, the costumes and the sets are a surefire recipe for irresistible holiday enchantment for all ages.
We've rounded up classic productions from the best ballerinas in the world and modern twists from lauded innovators that give audiences a dazzling array of choices across Southwest Michigan (and just over the Indiana border) leading up to the holidays.
Is The Nutcracker an annual tradition for your family around the holidays? Which version is your favorite?
Lerner Theatre, Elkhart
November 24 @ 7 PM | November 25 @ 3 PM
The Aurinko Ballet invites audiences to experience the classic Christmas tale from a modern yet thoroughly enchanting perspective that explores the meaning of the holidays. Tickets start at $10. A tea party package is also available.
The Nutcracker Ballet
Morris Performance Art Center, South Bend
December 8 @ 2 PM & 7 PM | December 9 @ 2 PM
Tickets start at $20.
A fresh telling of the bright, dazzling holiday story by the Southold Dance Theater deftly produced against the beautiful backdrop of the historic theater in three performances certain to delight all ages.
A Steamed Nutcracker
Mendel Center, Benton Harbor
December 15 @ 2 PM & 7:30 PM
A mesmerizing, not-to-be-missed steampunk version of the classic ballet, reimagined by the Citadel Dance and Music Center to enthrall audience members of all ages. Tickets start at $15.
Miller Auditorium, Kalamazoo
December 5 @ 7 PM
The original knockout experience, direct from Russia, enchants the whole family with larger-than-life props, spectacular costumes and dazzling sets -- not to mention the world's top dancers. Tickets start at $33.
The Nutcracker Ballet Tea
Holland Area Arts Council
November 18, 1 PM & 3:30 PM
A story-time brunch in a winter fairy-tale land of ballerinas, nutcrackers and toy soldiers, with vignettes from The Nutcracker performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet. Tea and scrumptious treats will be served. $35 for adults; $15 for children.
Grand Rapids Ballet Presents The Nutcracker
Devos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids
December 14-16 & 21-23
Top-notch sets, choreography and music from the Grand Rapids Symphony come together to create pure magic on the stage. Featuring the world-famous design of Chris Van Allsburg, the man behind The Polar Express, and sets by Wicked's Tony Award winner Eugene Lee. Clara’s Nutcracker Party will be held December 16. Tickets start at $20.
Jenison Center For the Arts
November 30 @ 7:30 PM | December 1 @ 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM | December 2 @ 2:30 PM
The Michigan Ballet Academy presents a lush production of Clara's enchanting adventure for the whole family. A tea party will take place on December 2. Tickets are $20.
Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker
Auditorium Theater, Chicago
Journey to Chicago's 1893 World's Fair with this holiday masterpiece that takes audiences along on a Christmas Eve dream of whirlwind romance and adventure. Wheeldon's Nutcracker is a must-see tradition boldly reimagined for a new generation.
Tickets start at $25.