The Nutcracker Ballet in Farmington Hills

Watching a performance of The Nutcracker ballet has become a southeast Michigan family tradition as popular as putting up a holiday tree. And while there are dozens to choose from, Michigan Classic Ballet Company's The Nutcracker – which plays Dec. 3-4, 2011 in Farmington Hills – features members of the Grand Rapids Ballet, the state's only professional company.

Mary C. Geiger, artistic director and founder of Bloomfield Hills Company, says this 22nd annual performance is a testament to the ballet's winter season popularity – and enduring allure to wide-eyed children.

"The music is a big appeal," she says. "People know it and are comfortable with the story." Iconic Tchaikovsky tunes like "Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy" and "March of the Toy Soldiers" are sure to have you humming along – and get you in the spirit! And theatergoers await beloved scenes like the party, snowflakes, ethnic dancers (like Russian, Spanish, Arabian and Chinese), waltzing flowers and even a realistic war scene.

Geiger, who owns Geiger Classical Ballet Academy in Bloomfield Hills, says that many of her students have auditioned for this version of The Nutcracker and are part of the performance.

Shows are 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 at Mercy High School in Farmington Hills. Tickets are $22 for adults and $17 for kids.

See the Metro Parent listing to learn more about the Michigan Classic Ballet Company's 2011 production of The Nutcracker.

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