Holiday favorite The Nutcracker returns to the Long Center —
August 12, 2020

Holiday favorite The Nutcracker returns to the Long Center

Austin’s favorite holiday tradition, Ballet Austin’s The Nutcracker, returns to the Long Center, Dec. 7-23 for 14 performances with veteran dancers Aara Krumpe and Chris Swaim taking final turns in lead roles.

Presented by the Georgia B. Lucas Foundation Fund, the seasonal classic, featuring Stephen Mills’ enchanting choreography, Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, and live accompaniment by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, is the longest-running production of The Nutcracker in the state of Texas. Ballet Austin’s interpretation of this world-famous ballet is now in its 56th year and is bigger and better than ever. The cast of nearly 200 individuals features 47 dancers from Ballet Austin’s professional, apprentice and training companies and more than 147 student performers.

In a season celebrating femmes de force (women of strength), The Nutcracker features a time-tested “girl power” story told through the viewpoint of its central character, Clara. She’s transported from a festive holiday party to an exotic court of sweets after saving her Nutcracker doll-turned-prince during a late-night battle with life-sized rodents.

“The Nutcracker is filled with strong female role models, and at its heart is this gusty young girl who is able to conquer her fears and take action when it counts,” Stephen Mills, Ballet Austin’s artistic director, noted. “She’s rewarded with a dreamy adventure through a wintry wonderland that embraces her greatest gift—her imagination. With its colorful sets, costumes and characters, The Nutcracker is a visual feast paired with a musical score that transports you to a magical place of possibility.”

“Aara and Chris have been audience favorites for many seasons, and this year’s production of The Nutcracker will be especially meaningful as we watch them take their final turns in these iconic roles,” Mills said.

For more information and tickets, please visit

About Merideth Cox 239 Articles
Merideth is a music writer who has covered bands from her hometown in Colorado to London to Bangkok to Shanghai and finally back to Austin. Led Zeppelin changed her life. So did Dolly Parton. You can read her music reviews at

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