If it’s December, it means Nutcracker season is upon us.
Atlanta Ballet, of course, has its multimillion-dollar extravaganza at the Fox Theatre, but numerous dance companies across Atlanta offer professional, preprofessional and student-based productions of the holiday classic.
Here’s our handy guide to the Atlanta area’s best bets to watch Marie meet her handsome prince.
After 25 years of producing The Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre, Atlanta Ballet will give its final performances at the historic venue before moving the holiday staple to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre next season. On tour at the Kennedy Center last weekend, the company’s critically praised 2018 production features choreography by Yuri Possokhov and advanced lighting technology, special effects and video projection. Airi Igarashi, Emily Carrico and Jessica Assef will dance as Marie; Guilherme Maciel, Moises Martin and Keaton Leier will perform as the Nutcracker Prince; Nikolas Gaifullin and Jacob Bush will take on the role of Drosselmeyer. Atlanta Ballet’s The Nutcracker is December 7–24 at the Fox Theatre.
Ballethnic Dance Company
Ballethnic’s local classic, Urban Nutcracker, returns to Martin Luther King International Chapel at Morehouse College, where the production first debuted in 1991. New to leadership this year is Associate Artistic Director Savery Morgan, a member of Ballethnic for 11 years. The lead roles of Brown Sugar and Chocolatier (as well as Snow Queen and Snow King) will be performed by Karla Tyson and Calvin Gentry. Cofounder Waverly Lucas, currently in Ireland working on his master’s in Ethnochoreology, will reprise the role of Father Johnson. Urban Nutcracker is December 14–15.
Gwinnett Ballet Theatre
Gwinnett Ballet Theatre, now in its 39th year, will present The Nutcracker for three weekends. This production includes members of Gwinnett Ballet Theatre’s professional ensemble, which began its inaugural season in the fall. Performances are December 6–22 at Infinite Energy Theater. The Gwinnett Ballet Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Predrag Gosta, will accompany performances on December 20 at 7:30 p.m., December 21 at 2:00 p.m. and December 22 at 2:00 p.m.
The Georgia Ballet
The newly formed Georgia Ballet Orchestra will accompany four of five performances of The Georgia Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, choreographed by Artistic Director Daet Rodriguez and Ballet Mistress Margit Peguero. Featuring 28 professional musicians, the orchestra will be led by Music Director Robert Trocina, who also serves as music director and conductor of Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra. Performances are December 6–8 at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre in the Cobb Civic Center. The company will also offer an abridged, sensory-friendly performance with recorded music on Sunday, December 8, at 2:30 p.m.
Atlanta Dance Theatre
Atlanta Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker, choreographed by Artistic Director Shelley Grames, features guest performances by former Atlanta Ballet company dancer Jonah Hooper; The Voice’s Nick Hagelin; Atlanta-based teacher and choreographer Lonnie Davis; and dancers Robert Chabot, Eric Nash and Rick Jackson. Performances are December 13–15 at Roswell Cultural Arts Center.
Metropolitan Ballet Theatre
Metropolitan Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker is December 20–22 at Blessed Trinity High School. The preprofessional company for dancers age 10 through 21 is under the direction of former Atlanta Ballet dancer Maniya Barredo.
Georgia Dance Theatre
Georgia Dance Theatre will present a new production of The Nutcracker featuring new costumes, characters and special effects. Professionals from Georgia Dance Theatre will perform along with community cast. International guest artist Darren McIntyre and Georgia Dance Theatre leading artist Abby Caldwell will perform as Cavalier and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Performances run December 14–15 at Whitewater High School.