The Nutcracker dazzles children’s eyes, but it also confirms their deep suspicion that toys come to life, even when no one is looking or poking them repeatedly with cattle prods. Feel the season’s electricity with this GrouponLive deal to see The Ventura County Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker at the Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center. All tickets are for upper mezzanine seating, which includes the balcony-center, balcony-left-center, and balcony-right-center sections. Doors open 30 minutes before showtime. Choose from the following options:
- For $10, you get one ticket (a $20 value).
- For $20, you get two tickets (a $40 value).
- For $39, you get four tickets (an $80 value).<p>
For each ticket option, choose from the following showtimes:
- Saturday, November 17, at 2 p.m.
- Saturday, November 17, at 7 p.m.
- Sunday, November 18, at 2 p.m.<p>
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, the regal Sugar Plum Fairy, and seasonally confused vampires.<p>
Tchaikovsky’s score features some of the most recognizable tunes in the repertoire, repurposed beyond the ballet world in works such as 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 Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’s music-box-like theme 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.
New staging and video effects reimagine the classic production with modern flair, rustling up a striking visual feast as characters pirouette through twinkling flurries of light and vault over exploding Death Stars. Dolled up in exaggerated face paints and regimental uniforms, the troupe of toy soldiers marches onto stage, ready to do battle with the nefarious mice.
Initially unpopular when it premiered in Russia, the Nutcracker languished for decades with a reputation as one of Tchaikovsky’s lesser works. Then, in the 1950s, the ballet’s status as a fixture of the holiday season began to grow as suddenly as Clara’s magic Christmas tree when renowned American choreographer George Balanchine staged it for the New York Ballet. Balanchine’s elegant staging remains the most popular, alternating between breathtaking displays of balletic mastery by soloists and duos and large-scale set pieces that fill the stage with luminous costumes.
The Ventura County Ballet Company
What do dancers at the Monte Carlo Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, and the Joffrey Ballet have in common? Besides the supernatural ability to walk on their toes, they got their start with The Ventura County Ballet Company. Ventura County Ballet is a nonprofit committed to creating art while developing young talent and sharing the results with the community through large-scale classic works like The Nutcracker in addition to original works and educational outreach.