The first story of young Clara, who sets off on a magical adventure with her toy nutcracker-turned-Prince of Christmas Eve, was written in 1816 by German author E.T.A. Hoffmann and titled The Nutcracker. In 1844, Alexander Dumas, author of The Count of Monte Cristo, translated the story into French, greatly popularizing it. In 1892, the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky set it to music, creating the ballet that has been loved the world over by generations.
Locally, one can find not only one or two productions of the iconic ballet—not even only three or four—but six! So this year, return to your favorite production or switch it up and try a new one.
ADTLI Presents Clara’s Dream: The Nutcracker at Patchogue Theatre
December 1–3. Since 2000, the American Dance Theatre of Long Island (ADTLI) has been delighting sold-out audiences with their magnificent performance of Clara’s Dream, The Nutcracker. Warm your spirit this holiday season as you witness toys that come to life, a Christmas tree that grows before your eyes, flowers that dance and snowflakes that waltz in this classic magical story. Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main Street, Patchogue. 631-207-1313, patchoguetheater.org
Duke Ellington’s The Nutcracker at The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook
December 7–9 and 14. The Jazz Loft Big Band will be backing up vocalist Danny Bacher as he belts out holiday and Christmas tunes as part of Duke Ellington’s jazz interpretation of The Nutcracker. 275 Christian Avenue, Stony Brook. 631-751-1895, thejazzloft.org
The Hampton Ballet Theatre School presents Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker at Guild Hall
December 8–10. The HBTS rendition of The Nutcracker is choreographed by the school director, Sara Jo Strickland, and features student dancers, including Holiday Bovio and Jillian Hear sharing the role of the Dew Drop Princess; Beatrice DeGroot and Devon Friedman sharing the role of the Snow Queen; and resident guest artists, Adam and Gail Baranello of A&G Dance Company, dancing the Arabian Prince and Princess. 158 Main Street, East Hampton. 631-324-0806, guildhall.org
The Nutcracker in Westhampton Beach
December 9-10. The WHBPAC’s most beloved and magical holiday tradition is back! Taught by Peconic Ballet Theatre teaching artists, dancers participate in weekly ballet classes and rehearsals that culminate in four performances of The Nutcracker. 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach. 631-288-1500, whbpac.org
Studio 3 Presents Mixed Nuts: A Classic Holiday Nutcracker at Bay Street Theater
December 15–17. This year’s performance will be a mash-up of storylines from The Nutcracker with that of Beauty and the Beast, featuring a cast of 45 dancers, ages 6 and up, from the Studio 3 Dance Center in Bridgehampton. 1 Bay Street, Sag Harbor. baystreet.org, dancestudio3.com
Seiskaya Ballet’s Nutcracker at the Staller Center
December 15-18. The Seiskaya Ballet’s Nutcracker has become a perennial holiday favorite on Long Island. This year’s staging is again scheduled for six performances at the Staller Center. World-renowned Russian-born choreographer Valia Seiskaya choreographs this truly international collaboration. Staller Center, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook.
Find more holiday events on our events calendar at Events.DansPapers.com.