Dec. 16-17: "The Great Russian Nutcracker"

If you’ve seen “The Nutcracker” ballet performed by some rinky-dink regional company, dance students, or youth group, set that experience aside; the Moscow Ballet is performing “The Great Russian Nutcracker” at the Hippodrome and it is an opportunity for you to take your kids—notice I did not say “daughters” since boys ought to go to the ballet, too—to see classical ballet in a performance that is specifically geared to keep kids attentive and engaged (i.e., lots of costume and scene changes, dramatic Tchaikovsky score, scary enough to give children the creeps but not enough to give them nightmares). My theory is that kids get something out of the classics, as well as seeing say, modern dance, break-dancing, hip-hop, experimental theater, performance art, etc.—with something like this functioning as the “construct,” so to speak, that helps them better understand the “deconstruction” or evolution of the forms that contemporary artists are working in. Take your 8-year-old to this, take your 12-year-old to Duke Ellington's Swingin' Nutcracker with Step Afrika! dancers at the Meyerhoff. (See page 13)The Hippodrome Theatre, 12 N. Eutaw St., (800) 343-3103,, $57-$411. (Karen Houppert)

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