Ballet Arizona Struggles to Find The Nutcracker Sweet Spot This Holiday Season

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Just four seasons ago, Alistair Macauley of The New York Times traveled around the country for a "marathon" that included 27 different productions of The Nutcracker -- then deemed productions by Ballet West, Ballet Arizona, and Richmond Ballet "the best discoveries" of his tour.

Figuring Andersen wouldn't try to fix something that wasn't broken, we expected to see a similar production this year. Instead, we saw a cluttered first act followed by a minimalist second act.

Changes should be expected since choreographers, like other artists, evolve over time.

But we got the feeling that Andersen created two different takes on the famous ballet, then decided to share only half of each one this season. They're both perfectly lovely, but they're not a matched set.

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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble