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2016 Comprehensive Guide To ‘The Nutcracker’ In San Diego County

The Sugar Plum Fairy greets her young attendants in San Diego Ballet's

Photo by Manuel Rotenberg

Above: The Sugar Plum Fairy greets her young attendants in San Diego Ballet's "The Nutcracker."

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From professional companies to local ballet schools, you'll find a version of "The Nutcracker" that's right for you.

Going to see “The Nutcracker,” a ballet with music by Tchaikovsky, is to some as much a holiday tradition as baking cookies and decorating a tree.

Even though some have already been performed, there are still close to two dozen Nutcracker options in San Diego County, with at least one happening every weekend from now until after the new year. The shows range from full company ballets to adaptations by local dance schools.

Whether you’re looking for a low-cost, student version close to home or a professional version with live music, here's a look at the many options in San Diego.

Professional productions

City Ballet of San Diego's "The Nutcracker": City Ballet stages an elaborate and elegant production. The ballet will be accompanied by the City Ballet Orchestra and Chorus. Following each matinee show, members of the cast will be in the lobby to greet audience members and pose for photos. 7:30 p.m. Fridays; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays Dec. 9 through 23. Also 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 and 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23. Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway, downtown. $29 to $82; (858) 272-8663 or buy tickets.

Photo by Photo courtesy of City Ballet of San Diego

The Sugar Plum Fairy leaps through the Land of the Sweets in City Ballet of San Diego's "The Nutcracker."

California Ballet's "The Nutcracker": California Ballet Company's "The Nutcracker" leaps onto the Civic Theatre Stage with the Classics Philharmonics and the San Diego Symphony. The holiday classic brings the spectacular Tchaikovsky score to life with a cast of professional ballerinas, student dancers and live symphony orchestra accompaniment at every performance. Classics Philharmonics performs Dec. 10 and 11; all other performances will be accompanied by the San Diego Symphony. Patrons can meet the cast at Sugar Plum Parties immediately following the 1, 2:30 and 5:30 performances. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, Friday, Dec. 16, Saturday, Dec. 17 and Friday, Dec. 23; 1 p.m. Sunday Dec. 11, Sunday, Dec. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 24; 5:30 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 11 and 18; 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 and Friday, Dec. 23; 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 and Thursday, Dec. 22. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., downtown. $25 to $105; (619/858/760) 570-1100 or buy tickets.

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San Diego Ballet's "The Nutcracker": San Diego Ballet presents its version of "The Nutcracker," directed by longtime San Diego choreographers Javier Velasco and Robin Sherertz-Morgan. The show features an international cast from China, Japan, Russia, South Africa and Mexico. It also features San Diego School of Ballet’s children from all over the county. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. Mandeville Auditorium, 9500 Gilman Drive, UC San Diego, La Jolla. $25 to $55; buy tickets.

Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker": A cast of 40 world-class Russian artists will perform together with local children at this one-night only show. The Russian interpretation features giant puppets, colorful costumes, a Dove of Peace and a French variation. 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21. Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., downtown. $28 to $175; find tickets.

Photo by Marilen Avila Tran

Hip hop dancers from Culture Shock jump high in the air during "A Culture Shock Nutcracker - A Holiday Hip Hop Dance Theatrical."

"A Culture Shock Nutcracker — A Holiday Hip Hop Dance Theatrical 2017": The modern re-interpretation stays true to E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story and honors the brilliance and beauty of Tchaikovsky’s score. Set in the present amid a fusion of contemporary music and fashion combined with old-world magic, Culture Shock’s professional dancers give the show a new perspective. 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7; 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8. Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway, downtown. $35 to $120; buy tickets.

San Diego dance schools

San Diego Academy of Ballet's "The Nutcracker": Directed by Sylvia Tchernychev, the ballet academy puts on a full-length performance featuring students from its various levels of practice. 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26. California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd. $30 to $38; buy tickets.

San Diego Danceworks "The Nutcracker": San Diego Danceworks and Creative Stages presents its version of "The Nutcracker" performed by its student cast. Children ages 5 and under are admitted free. 3:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. Creative Performing Media Arts Performing Arts Center, 5050 Conrad Ave., Clairemont. $15; buy tickets.

San Diego Civic Youth Ballet's "The Nutcracker": Coinciding with the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet’s "The Nutcracker" comes to life at the iconic Casa del Prado Theater. The Balboa Park ballet school puts on a full production using students ages 4 to 18. 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays Dec. 9 through 18. Casa del Prado Theatre, 1600 Village Place, Balboa Park. $12 to $18; (619) 233-3060 or buy tickets.

Photo by Kel Casey

Clara dances with her nutcracker doll in San Diego Civic Youth Ballet's "The Nutcracker."

Balletiquette Dance Theatre Company's "The Nutcracker": Balletiquette Dance Studio, a Clairemont-based ballet and pilates company, stages "The Nutcracker" featuring its cast of young dancers. 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. Creative Performing Media Arts Performing Arts Center, 5050 Conrad Ave., Clairemont. $20 to $25; buy tickets.

North County dance schools

New West Ballet's "The Nutcracker": The San Marcos-based school stages a full production of the ballet complete with lavish sets and costumes. 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27. Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Road, Poway. $30 to $45; buy tickets.

Royal Academy of Performing Arts' "The Nutcracker": The popular dance school puts on an abbreviated "Nutcracker" performance that includes the party and snow scene from the first act, and the entire second act. 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. $25 to $40; buy tickets.

Scripps Performing Arts Academy's "The Nutcracker": Scripps Performing Arts Youth Academy, a pre-professional ballet school in Scripps Ranch, stages its version of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” 2 p.m. Saturdays Dec. 3 and 10; 2 p.m. Sundays Dec. 4 and 11. Garfield Theater at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla. $25 to $35; buy tickets.

Ballet Arte's "The Nutcracker": The award-winning Solana Beach ballet school, stages its version of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" featuring a cast of students. The production is choreographed and directed by Ballet Arte founders Sara Viale and Erlends Zieminch. 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17; 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, Garfield Theater, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla. $20 to $30; (858) 259-5505 or buy tickets.

Photo by Photo courtesy of Ballet Arte

The character Clara receives a nutcracker for Christmas in Ballet Arte's version of the ballet.

Southern California Ballet's "The Nutcracker": Southern California Ballet's celebrates its 25th anniversary performance with an updated version directed by San Diego native Martha Leebolt. The show will also have a cast of nearly 100 dancers from SCB Academy and the North County community. 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10 and 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11. Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Road, Poway. $20 to $38; buy tickets.

Encinitas Ballet Presents "The Nutcracker": Internationally acclaimed choreographers Sayat Asatryan and Olga Tchekachova join with award-winning guest artist dancers, visually stunning stage sets and a charming and accomplished local cast, to make Encinitas Ballet's presentation of the Tchaikovsky classic one of the most acclaimed in North County. 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. La Costa Canyon High School, 1 Maverick Way, Carlsbad. $20 to $25; buy tickets.

West Coast Ballet Theater's "The Nutcracker": This engaging and family-oriented performance features a cast of more than 200 performers and guest artists from San Francisco Ballet. 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 and Sunday, Dec. 18. California Center for the Arts Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Boulevard, Escondido. $21.50 to $42; buy tickets.

South Bay dance schools

Photo by Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

Professional dancers from Moscow Ballet perform the party scene from the "Great Russian Nutcracker."

Neisha's Dance & Music Academy: Students from the Chula Vista school will perform in Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker" at Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall. 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21. Jacobs Music Center at Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., downtown. $28 to $175; buy tickets.

Movies

Fathom Events Presents Bolshoi Ballet's "The Nutcracker": Fathom Events presents the Bolshoi's version of "The Nutcracker" featuring choreography by Yuri Grigorovich. The show was captured live on Content was captured live on December 21, 2014. 12:55 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18 and 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19 (sensory friendly). San Diego movie theaters. $15 to $18; buy tickets.

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