Ballet Austin marks 50 years of presenting The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker turns 50 this year. Yes, it was 1962 when Ballet Austin offered its first full-length version of Tchaikovsky's Christmas chestnut – just six Decembers after BA's debut performing scenes from the ballet at City Coliseum – and now it's been a yuletide tradition longer than any other Nutcracker in Texas. Hundreds of dancers have jetéed and pirouetted through the Land of the Sweets, scampered out from under Mother Ginger's ample skirts, or oohed admiringly at Clara's handsome gift from Drosselmeyer, and Ballet Austin wants to bring them all together for this milestone. For the opening night of this golden anniversary run, it's rolling out the white carpet for former cast members with a reunion reception before the performance. Anyone who's ever appeared in the company's Nutcracker is encouraged to attend. The production runs through Dec. 23: Fridays, 7:30pm; Saturdays, 2 & 7:30pm; and Sundays, 2pm; with additional performances Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 19 & 20, 7:30pm; in Dell Hall at the Long Center, 701 W. Riverside. For more information, call 476-2163 or visit www.balletaustin.org.