The Nutcracker returns to Richardson

The Sugar Plum Fairy. 

The Land of Sweets. 

Snowflakes. 

The Nutcracker ballet puts us in the mood for Christmas. And everyone knows the version to see is the Tuzer Ballet’s performance.

The ballet presents a limited two-show run Dec. 17 & 18 at 2 p.m. at the Charles W. Eisemann Center in Richardson.

Now in its 37th year, Tuzer Ballet’s The Nutcracker was choreographed and designed by the late Tanju Tuzer, a globally trained dancer whose legacy lives on in the Tuzer dance studio and its students. 

Tuzer’s ballet is the longest-running production of The Nutcracker in the Dallas area and annually features more than 100 dancers and actors from Tuzer Dance School in Richardson. The show and school continue under the direction of Tanju’s wife Pat, his partner in ballet and life.

More than 3,000 guests are expected to enjoy this year’s show. Among those are recipients of “outreach” tickets, which Pat donates annually to local veterans, firefighters, Girl Scouts and those unable to otherwise attend.

Why see the Tuzer Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker? The Tuzers began the company in 1984, when they were the first to start The Nutcracker locally. 

The Tuzer Ballet’s The Nutcracker dazzles with choreography inspired by the Tuzers’ international, professional dance careers, and features technically challenging solo dances, including modern takes, characters, costumes and a mix of professional dancers, advanced students and bright young dancers.

You’ll even be thrilled by a surprise twist that you won’t find in any other Nutcracker productions.

And location matters: The Eisemann makes performances more accessible than those in Downtown Dallas and the Arts District, for example

The Tuzer Ballet’s attention to detail is evident by more than 60 volunteers’ efforts and professional sets that transport the audience to a winter wonderland. More than 400 stunning and original costumes — 45 in the battle scene alone — feature thousands of individually sewn pieces made by local seamstresses.

This year’s Nutcracker includes two renowned guest artists, both among the ballet industry’s most accomplished performers:

Vsevolod Maevsky was educated at the Kyiv State Ballet School where he was a student of V.V. Pryanichnikov. Maevsky has won several international awards and competitions, including Gold Medal Grand Prix Kyiv (Ukraine) in 2016 and Gold Medal at the Youth America Grand Prix New York in 2018. Vsevolod currently works at the Semperoper Ballet in Dresden, Germany.

Lauren Lovette’s work has been commissioned and performed by leading dance companies and festivals, including the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Vail International Dance Festival, American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Nevada Ballet Theatre. In October 2009, Ms. Lovette became an apprentice with New York City Ballet and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in September 2010. Promoted to soloist in February 2013 and to principal dancer in June 2015, she stepped down from her position at the company in 2021 to embark on a career devoted to dance and choreography in more equal measure. She is now the choreographer in residence at the Paul Taylor Dance Company and performs as a guest principal dancer around the world.

Recalling her husband’s devotion to ballet, Pat recalls his thoughts about the art. 

“It is not just about ballet. It’s about life. It’s about dignity, about honor, about noble souls that you develop over the years. That is really the heart of the matter.”

Bring the magic of dance to your holiday celebration. Purchase tickets today through the website. Tickets: $20-$125. Premium $125 seats include valet parking and a backstage tour. Performance address: Charles W. Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson.

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