It’s the ballet that spawned a million pink tutu dreams and dance class tuition checks.
Not to mention visions of sugarplum fairies dancing in little girls’ heads.
This weekend, Ballet Palm Beach twirls into the Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens with its version of “The Nutcracker,” a nostalgic holiday respite from Black Friday’s high-velocity commercialism.
Tailor made for families, the performance by the company formerly known as Florida Classical Ballet brings a cast of more than 80 to the Eissey, including about 65 student dancers from The Esther Center ages 7 to 18, as well as 15 company members.
This year’s audience will see more dramatic swordplay in the battle scene between the Rat King and the Nutcracker Prince, choreographed by artistic director Colleen Smith and ballet teacher Marshall Levin, a former dancer with the defunct Ballet Florida.
Smith said she has also upgraded her original choreography and added more saturated color to the dancers’ costumes and stage sets.
“It’s a very Currier & Ives style of ‘Nutcracker’,” Smith said.
And all the beloved “Nutcracker” elements are included, from Mother Ginger and her dancing children, the ethereal snow scene and Waltz of the Flowers to the Sugar Plum Fairy and Prince’s romantic pas de deux.
“People are always looking for things to do with their family this time of year,” said Smith. “Coming right after Thanksgiving, it just rings in the holiday. We play Christmas carols in the lobby. I don’t know how much more Christmasy you could get.”
IF YOU GO
Ballet Palm Beach’s “The Nutcracker”
When: Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Where: The Eissey Theatre, Palm Beach State College, 11051 Campus Drive, Palm Beach Gardens.
Info: www.balletpalmbeach.org; 561-630-8235.