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Start the holiday arts season with a classic---well, sorta

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  • | 5:40 p.m. December 13, 2012
  • Arts + Culture
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There is nothing like starting the holiday season off with The Nutcracker. The ballet is so riddled with tradition, cheer, ab-fab costumes and snow, it's hard not to get into the holiday spirit when you see it. Did you know we've been headbanging to the familiar tunes of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky for 120 years? Well, we have, so it totally makes sense that when you ask a ballet performer if they are excited to dance in The Nutcracker (again this year) they simply purse their lips, roll their eyes and pull a prima. In a nut(cracker)shell: They hate it.

In walks Iain Webb. He's the director of our ballet and he walks a total tight rope (you'll get that pun in a moment) of trying to appease an audience and his dancers all at once. Sure, he wants happy Sarasotans frolicking around and spreading holiday cheer after watching his company's performance of The Nutcracker ... but he also wants his dancers to be challenged creatively. What does he do? Well, he does what any leather-pant-wearing artistic director would do: He launches a world premiere of his version of The Nutcracker ... à la circus.

Step right up for this weekend, and this weekend only, and celebrate the tradition of the circus and ... well ... tradition.

Follow Clara's dream as she runs away with the circus in this world premiere of Sarasota's unique production by international choreographer Matthew Hart and award-winning designer Peter Docherty. Set to Tchaikovsky's festive music and accompanied by the Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota Ballet entwines Hoffmann's original story with Sarasota's own hometown classic: the circus.  Buy tickets at


Friday, Dec. 14, 8 p.m. -  Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. - Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

To learn a little more about the making of this spectacular show, check out these social media-savvy videos:


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