If visions of sugarplum fairies get you in the holiday spirit, you’re in luck — there are at least four productions of “The Nutcracker” over the next two weeks.
Each tells Tchaikovsky’s classic tale of Clara and her adventures through the Land of Sweets with her new Christmas present, a Nutcracker doll that comes to life and battles the Mouse King. But Brooklyn’s four “Nutcracker’s” — a flamenco version set in present-day New York, a colonial-American version, one that offers a tour of modern Brooklyn landmarks, and (thankfully!) one classic take — are all so different from each other that the true ballet fan will want to check out them all.
Here’s an exclusive GO Brooklyn roundup:
First up is “The Colonial Nutcracker,” performed at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Dec. 14. This version is set in wintry colonial Yorktown in Virginia, during the Revolutionary War.
The show is aimed at kids, and choreographer Rose Menes, from Dance Theater in Westchester, transforms the tale into a one-hour extravaganza of the red-coated mouse army, enchanted nutcracker prince in a powder wig and, of course, beautiful Clara.
Ballerinas with the Neville Dance Theater in Downtown will perform a modern version of the tale, having set the story in present-day New York.
In this “Nutcracker,” dancers incorporate other cultures, including Flamenco, Irish reels, American square dances, and Argentine tangos. Clara and her prince dance through the Palace of Nations, and meet dancing police officers and local thugs.
Modern-day Brooklyn even gets its due in “A Brooklyn Nutcracker,” performed for the 10th year by the Brooklyn Music School Playhouse. Tchaikovsky’s score is performed against scenes that include Macy’s, Junior’s Restaurant, and Coney Island, among other borough landmarks.
The story veers from the classic in that Clara gets separated from her mother at Macy’s, and brings her treasured nutcracker on an adventure through Kings that includes memorable scenes in Prospect Park and on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Purists will appreciate the classic take on the classic tale offered by the Vicky Simegiatos Dance Company. The New York City Ballet’s principal dancer, Jennifer Ringer, will once again star as the Sugar Plum Fairy, with young members of the company performing the other parts.
Simegiatos said her version will highlight the young dancers and classic choreography, with the intimacy of neighborhood theater.
“The Colonial Nutcracker,” Dec. 14, 2 pm at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College [2900 Campus Rd., in Flatbush, (718) 951-4600 x22]. Tickets, $6. For info, visit www.brooklyncenteronline.org.
“The Nutcracker: World Dance Returns to this Modernized Tale,” Dec. 18–20 at the Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts at Long Island University [corner of DeKalb Avenue and Flatbush Avenue Extension and University Plaza in Downtown Brooklyn, (718) 488-1624]. Tickets, $30. For info, visit www.kumbletheater.org and www.nevilledance.com.
“A Brooklyn Nutcracker,” Dec. 12-14 at the Brooklyn Music School [126 St. Felix St., between Lafayette Avenue and Hanson Place in Fort Greene, (718) 638-5660]. Tickets, $15–$25. For info, visit www.brooklynmusicschool.org.
“The Nutcracker” by the Vicky Simegiatos Dance Company, Dec. 20–21 at the Poly Prep Country Day School [Seventh Avenue at 92nd Street in Bay Ridge, (347) 517-4169]. Tickets, $25–$35. For info, visit www.vspac.com.