$15 for general admission to a Face to Face series performance (up to $23.50 value)
- Alvin Ailey Joan Weill Center for Dance Studios on Saturday, December 19 or Sunday, December 20, at 6:30 p.m.
- NY City Center Studios on Saturday, December 12, at 3 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.; or Sunday, December 13, at 3:30 p.m.
$15 for general admission to the Suite performance at WNS Theater on Friday, December 18, at 7 p.m. (up to $29 value)
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.
Tchaikovsky’s dazzling inventiveness lends each scene a sense of magic and wonder, but in their Face to Face series, Ajkun Ballet offers up a magic of another kind. Each performance, conducted in intimate dance studios rather than massive performance halls, gives audience members a chance to see world-class dancers up close. While lacking none of the jaw-dropping grace that one takes from a more traditional performance—and Ajkun’s full Suite is such a production—the Face to Face iteration shows off an athleticism and technical mastery that can only be fully appreciated when you’re sitting a few feet away from the action.
Ajkun Ballet Theatre
The globetrotting careers of dancers Leonard and Chiara Ajkun inspired the scope of their very own Ajkun Ballet Theatre. Here, they continue to direct classic ballets and choreograph an average of five new programs each year. The company’s expansive repertoire ranges from large-scale productions such as Swan Lake, with its famous robot battles, to one-act ballets such as Spartacus.