Pick Your Performance

In its 202-year history, the German story of The Nutcracker has been translated and reimagined so many times, there now exists a production for all. Here, a few renditions coming to metro Detroit.
Great Russian Nutcracker Moscow Ballet
Dancers from the Moscow Ballet perform the Great Russian Nutcracker // Photograph courtesy of the Moscow Ballet

Child’s Play

From Dec. 1-2, the high schoolers of Detroit Symphony Orchestra Civic Youth Ensemble will back dancers of Ballet Americana Dance Co. for a moving production of The Nutcracker, shining a spotlight on metro Detroit’s youth performers. “Many people peer into the pit during or after the show and are incredibly surprised to see all these young people producing a professional-level performance,” says Nelson Parada, Detroit Symphony Orchestra general manager of training programs, of the upcoming ensemble. $20+. Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-943-2354; dearborntheater.com

Eastern Influence

On Dec. 23, the Moscow Ballet will perform the Great Russian Nutcracker at Detroit’s Fox Theatre, featuring dancers trained in Russia. It’s a version that takes a few creative liberties, like introducing the Dove of Peace, a two-person role unique to the Moscow Ballet. The duo, clad in feathered wings, ushers the heroine, along with her new doll, into the Land of Peace and Harmony. $32+. Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 800-745-3000; 313presents.com

Siren Star

The world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet Co. will also make an appearance on Dec. 23 — albeit not in the flesh. The Michigan Theater will screen a recently recorded, 1966 Yuri Grigorovich version of the ballet, acclaimed for its condensed plot and stunning choreography. $22+. Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-764-2538; ums.org

Rap Session

The Hip Hop Nutcracker at the Masonic Temple will offer a contemporary spin on the classic, trading the original 19th century Eastern Europe setting for 1980s Brooklyn. With narration by rap icon Kurtis Blow along with a mix of ballet and hip-hop choreography, the Dec. 6 production is sure to be unlike the rest. $35+. Masonic Temple Theatre, 500 Temple St., Detroit; 313-638-2724; themasonic.com