Dancers use their bodies to express emotions, unlike opera singers, who use their voices, and Punchin’ Jack, who only uses his fists. Get an eyeful of art with this GrouponLive deal to see Ahwatukee Foothills Ballet’s The Nutcracker at Desert Vista Fine Arts Theatre. Choose between the following options:
- For $14, you get two tickets for side-balcony seating (a $28 value).
- For $18, you get two tickets for middle-balcony seating (a $36 value).<p>
For each seating option, choose from the following showtimes:
- Friday, December 21, at 7 p.m.
- Saturday, December 22, at 2 p.m.
- Saturday, December 22, at 7 p.m.<p>
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. The Saturday matinee features appearances by Santa Claus and the cast after the performance.
Based on a novel by the 19th-century romantic fabulist E.T.A. Hoffman, The Nutcracker weaves a magical tale of holiday adventure. Clara, the story’s heroine, receives a nutcracker from her godfather, a wizardly toymaker named Drosselmeyer. Sneaking downstairs to see the toy after everyone else has gone to bed, Clara 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 amid the dances of nimble snowflakes and the regal Sugar Plum Fairy.
Tchaikovsky’s score features some of the most recognizable tunes in the repertoire, repurposed beyond the ballet world in works including Disney’s Fantasia, which naturally chose to illustrate the music’s delicate beauty with dancing mushrooms and leaping radishes. Notable sections include the “Waltz of the Snowflakes,” which floats weightlessly above the angelic voices of a youth choir, and the second act’s medley of exotic national dances, including a Spanish bolero and Russian Trepak. The music-box-like theme of the “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” springs from a celesta, a new instrument Tchaikovsky came across in Paris and hurriedly inserted into the score before his musical rivals could make use of its haunting, bell-like sound.
A local tradition since 2000, the Ahwatukee Foothills Ballet presents its yearly holiday performance with a cast of 125 local dancers, their ages ranging from 3 to 21. The production employs more than 400 costumes and headpieces, each personally designed for the show. Equal in elaborateness to the dancing is the staging, which includes a Christmas tree that rises through the theater’s roof and falling snow.<p>