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Stepping Out

Clara's world

'The Nucracker shines on local stages


Holiday Stage

New York Dance Theatre’s ‘The Nutcracker’

New York Dance Theatre’s version of the holiday classic dances its way back to the Hofstra University stage. As always, it’s performed in the style of the legendary George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet production, featuring guest artists from the New York City Ballet. The Balanchine tradition is maintained from storyline through choreography, sets and costumes, as created by New York Dance Theatre founder Frank Ohman (a former NYCB soloist). This year’s production will be the first without Ohman, who died in July. Throughout the years, he created original dances and scenes that he incorporated into his production. As a former student and soloist under Balanchine, Ohman was one of a select few authorized to use the original pas de deux choreography of his mentor, which will continue to distinguish NYDT’s performance. Special guest artists Brittany Pollack and Daniel Ulbricht return as the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. In all, a cast of 80 dancers, including children, bring the ballet to life. Ohman’s traditional role of the grandfather in the party scene that opens the ballet will be left vacant this year in his honor.

Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14-15, 12 and 5 p.m. $42, $32 seniors and children 12 and under. Hofstra University’s John Cranford Adams Playhouse, Hempstead. (631) 462-0964 or www.ohmanballet.org.

Still More Sugar Plums

‘Nutcracker’ Reimagined

Led by executive artistic director Maurice Brandon Curry, the Eglevsky Ballet offers up an enhanced staging of the festive ballet, accompanied by the Massapequa Philharmonic Orchestra. The company, which was founded in 1961 by Andre Eglevsky, formerly with American Ballet Theater and the New York City Ballet, brings some innovative elements to the classic production, including special effects. Eglevsky dancers are joined by select students from the Eglevsky Ballet Academy. Curry has added unique elements throughout, including dispensing with the pas de deux usually performed by the Snow Queen and Snow King. Instead, it will be danced by Clara (15-year-old Kathy Benitez, who studies with the Eglevsky Ballet) and the Nutcracker Prince (17-year-old Paolo Tarini, who studies with ABT). The two young dancers will dance a pas de deux to the music for the famous snow scene.

Saturday, Dec. 14, 2 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m. $79, $69, $59. Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, LUI Post, Rte. 25A, Brookville. (800) 745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com or www.tillescenter.org.