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Artists of Houston Ballet by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy of Houston Ballet

Houston Ballet’s Nutcracker Twirls Into Town

in Art & Culture/Things To Do by

The best holiday traditions have a way of standing the test of time, even if it means overcoming the odds—that’s the magic of this time of year. For the city of Houston, one of those traditions is a dazzling performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker by Houston Ballet. Even though the company’s Wortham Theater home is closed until mid-2018 after suffering in Hurricane Harvey, visions of sugar plum fairies will dance their way across the stage this season in as splendid fashion as ever thanks to a pair of local venues.

Allison Miller with Artists of Houston Ballet. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, courtesy of Houston Ballet.

The production premiered on December 10 at Smart Financial Centre in Sugarland, where it will remain until December 23. Following that engagement, the show heads downtown to the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts for a second slate of performances from December 30 through January 6. 

Even longtime admirers of the iconic ballet are likely to find something new to appreciate in Artistic Director Stanton Welch’s lavish production. Now in its second year, Mr. Welch’s breathtaking design emphasizes all things bold and bright, with eye-popping sets and costumes and, at Smart Financial Centre, a pair of screens that show the dancers’ impeccable footwork. Ermanno Florio conducts the Houston Ballet Orchestra, leading the corps through some of the season’s most recognizable themes.

Nozomi Iijima and Connor Walsh with Artists of Houston Ballet. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, courtesy of Houston Ballet.

With its timeless story of Clara and her prince and choreography and design to appeal to the whole family, Mr. Welch’s production has the hallmarks of a classic in the making—something that locals look forward to year after year and that visitors clamor to add to their holiday to-do list.

Tickets are available at

Featured image: Artists of Houston Ballet. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, courtesy of Houston Ballet.

Noah is a Houston-based writer and photographer. You can find him exploring Houston's restaurant and museum scenes with his wife or catching a game at Minute Maid Park. He and his wife serve local businesses through their digital content company, Two Cats Communications.

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