- San Clemente Dance & Performing Arts Center's The Nutcracker Suite & Jazzy
- When: Saturday, December 7, at 2 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.
- Where: Truax Theater at El Camino High School
- Seating: best available
- Door time: 30 minutes before showtime
- Ticket values include all fees.
- $12 for two tickets (up to $26.82 value)
- $22 for four tickets (up to $53.64 value)
The Nutcracker Suite & Jazzy
Based on a novel by 19th-century romantic fabulist E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nutcracker weaves a magical tale of holiday adventure around one of the most recognizable scores in the ballet repertoire. It begins when young Clara receives a nutcracker from her godfather, a wizardly toymaker named Drosselmeyer. Sneaking downstairs to see the toy after everyone else has gone to bed, she suddenly finds herself caught in the middle of a pitched battle between the toys and an army of mice. After saving the nutcracker with a well-thrown shoe to the Mouse King's head, Clara and her now-living prince venture into the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets to celebrate.
Putting their own spin on the first act, the dancers of San Clemente Dance & Performing Arts Center mix modern styles with the classic story. The beginning party scene shows off the smooth moves of jazz, before the toy soldiers break out their tap-dancing skills as they awaken. Then the climatic battle between the toys and the Mouse King's minions finds its musical match with a hip-hop swell. In the second act, the group returns to the more traditional staging, using Tchaikovsky's inventiveness to propel the dances of nimble flowers, regal fairy queens, and seasonally confused vampires. The "Waltz of the Snowflakes" floats weightlessly above the angelic voices of a youth choir, whereas the "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" tiptoes to the haunting, music-box chimes of a celesta. A medley of exotic national dances—including a Spanish bolero and Russian Trepak—add to the phantasmagoric celebration before the whole dream ends, as all dreams must.