Peninsula Youth Ballet: "The Nutcracker"

San Mateo Performing Arts Center

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In a Nutshell

Tchaikovsky’s classic score twirls to life in a holiday classic which sees young Clara venture into a dreamland of snow and ice

The Fine Print

Expiration varies. Limit 10 per person. Valid only for option purchased. Redeem on day of show for a ticket at venue box office. Tickets are first-come, first-serve. Refundable only on day of purchase. Must redeem together to sit together. Discount reflects current ticket prices. ADA seating cannot be guaranteed. Contact box office prior to purchase for availability. Ticket value includes all fees. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

The Deal

Available Showtimes

  • Saturday, November 28, at 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 28, at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 29, at 2 p.m.

The Nutcracker

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.

Throughout their adventures, Tchaikovsky’s dazzling inventiveness propels the dances of nimble flowers and regal fairy queens. 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.

Peninsula Youth Ballet

The dancers range in age from 5 to adult—and they're serious about dancing. In fact, Peninsula Youth Ballet acts as a gateway into the wide world of professional ballet, introducing children to the company setting and expanding their skill set from day one. It's hardly a wonder then that the productions are so polished and mature. Much credit for this can be ascribed to Artistic Director Ayako Takahashi, who served as a principal dancer with the Tokyo City Ballet Company, the Matsuyama Ballet Company, and the Central Ballet Company in Beijing before joining the Peninsula Youth Ballet in 1986. With her unique teaching methods, students skip the standard recitals and learn how to dance where it counts: on stage in fully mounted productions such as Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, and The Little Mermaid.

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