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Cherishing the Nutcracker Tradition
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Cherishing the Nutcracker Tradition

I don’t know if this counts as a talent, but I can hear music from the Nutcracker Ballet and tell you which part of the ballet the music coordinates with. It’s a skill I’ve picked up since there have been very few Decembers in my lifetime that I haven’t gone to see this classic ballet.

You probably know the story of the little girl who receives a Nutcracker doll as a Christmas gift and then dreams that her wooden soldier goes into battle before he takes her to a land of sweets. The ballet is well over 100 years old and is performed by ballet companies all over the world.  The music seems to be found everywhere throughout the holiday season.

Each year I take my daughter and my niece to see Iowa Dance Theatre’s performance at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines. The girls love to wear fancy dresses where the skirt flies out when they spin, and spin they do as they pretend to be one of the dancers. This ballet offers a Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party before the Saturday matinee and the girls have adored eating small sandwiches with their pinky raised, fashioning hot cocoa mustaches and devouring the desserts. At the tea they also get to meet some of the ballerinas which pumps them up for the actual performance. But by the time the ballet begins, the girls have burned off their excitement and are ready to cozy into their seats to enjoy the beautiful dancing.

Like reading The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve before bedtime and building a Gingerbread house that looks like it should be condemned, seeing The Nutcracker Ballet has become an integral part of our holiday season fun. Check out the events listings on Travel Iowa and find an event that can add cheer to your holiday.

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