Nothing says the holiday season to me more than the ballet “The Nutcracker.” Tonight WETA is showing the 1977 American Ballet Theater version with Mikhail Baryshnikov – though it’s part of their pledge drive so I’m taking a break from childhood nostalgia to check out the local Nutcracker options. As a baby ballerina I was obsessed with the ABT version and tried to mimic Clara’s every move. But almost all ballet companies have their own take on the classic libretto, backed by Tchaikovsky’s memorable score. It’s about a girl who is given a special nutcracker as a Christmas present, and ends up on a magical journey towards womanhood. Corny? Sure, but also part of many a cherished girlhood dream.

Here in Washington, two top-notch companies will be performing their special spins on this tale – the venerable American Ballet Theater itself, and our own local Washington Ballet. ABT will be performing at the Kennedy Center from December 7 -11, and this will be the version familiar to most. The always creative Washington Ballet will be performing Artistic Director Septime Weber’s version (which debuted last year) with a distinctly Washingtonian flair at the Warner Theater all month, from tonight through December 24. I think this last is the one I want to see this year. They even promise Anacostian Indians!

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

As one of the founding editors of We Love DC, Jenn’s passions are theater and cocktails. After two decades in the city, she’s loved every quirky, mundane, elegant, rude minute of her DC life. A proud advocate for DC’s talented drinks scene, she’s judged the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s ARTINI contest, the DC Rickey Month contest, the Jefferson Hotel’s Quill Cocktail competition, and is a founding member of LUPEC DC. A graduate of Catholic University’s drama program, she toured the country as a member of National Players, and has been both an actor and a costume designer before jumping the aisle to theater criticism. Writing for We Love DC restored her happiness after a life-threatening illness, and she’s grateful to you, dear readers. Send your suggestions to jenn (at) welovedc (dot) com and follow her on Twitter.

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