Snag your tickets to this high-energy, festive show before it’s gone!

Image courtesy Classical Ballet Academy

My family first discovered Classical Ballet Academy when we attended Nutcracker Vignettes, their free outdoor installation of scenes from The Nutcracker (see a short clip here). My children were entranced, and we were eager to see the full-length production.

For fans of the classic George Balanchine version, rest assured, there are many familiar elements in this production. With the dancing dolls, the Snowflakes, the growing Christmas tree, and the Sugar Plum Fairy, the storyline is much the same. A significant departure comes in the Land of Sweets, where instead of Arabian Coffee and Chinese Tea, for example, you’ll find dancers performing as Peacock Taffy and Snowball Cookies. This change is intentional and discussed in more detail in the program.


Fritz stole the show for us, with his mischievous antics and lightness of foot. We were also absolutely delighted by the staging of the Rats. Their costumes included red, illuminated eyes, and my daughter gasped aloud when they ran down the aisles. In fact, all of the costumes were impressive and beautiful.

Today’s audience was the most enthusiastic I’ve ever been a member of. My daughter said her hands hurt from clapping so much. That enthusiasm from the seats contributed to the general festive energy present through the entire full-length production.

These students should be proud. A full-length production of The Nutcracker is a feat, and this young company brings incredible joy to Portland this holiday season.

Classical Ballet Academy’s performances are this weekend only, December 18-19, with two performances each day at Lincoln Hall on Portland State University’s campus. Tickets start at $14. Buy tickets here. Proof of vaccination or negative test result and masks required for ages 12+. Kids under 11 just need masks. The performers also wear masks.

Interested in classes for your children? Classical Ballet Academy offers classes for dancers as young as 2.5. Learn more here.

Meg Asby
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