Disclosure: this is a sponsored post. As always, we use our discretion in publishing sponsored content to ensure the businesses, products and opportunities promoted will be of interest to our readers. Ballet San Antonio is part of our local arts community that we are passionate about supporting. We are very excited about their upcoming performance of The Nutcracker.
One of our favorite family traditions at the holidays is seeing Ballet San Antonio’s The Nutcracker with the San Antonio Symphony. This year, for the first time, San Antonio families can experience The Nutcracker at the new Tobin Center. As you learn more about Ballet San Antonio’s The Nutcracker at the Tobin Center, I think you’ll want to take your whole family to see it, too.
As I mentioned before in my post about holiday arts and cultural activities for families, I want my kids to grow up with a full range of cultural experiences and with a deep appreciation for the arts. I also want to choose activities that will support the local arts community in San Antonio. Courtney Mauro Barker, President and Executive Director of Ballet San Antonio, explains it:
Every dollar spent on tickets to Ballet San Antonio’s The Nutcracker is an investment in the arts in our city: in dance, in live music, and in children’s education in the arts.
This year, just as it happened in 2013, two touring productions of The Nutcracker will also visit San Antonio. The touring productions feature talented dancers, but San Antonio is just a stop along their way. Also, the touring shows use recorded music. When dancers are performing to live music, Barker says, “they feed off the live orchestra. You can see it in their dancing.”
Ballet San Antonio is committed to arts education. This year, on December 4–5, there will be two special youth performances of The Nutcracker just for students. All the tickets are deeply discounted, and 1,000 tickets are being given free to students at Title 1 schools. “For many of these underserved youth, The Nutcracker may be their first time in a theater, experiencing a live performance,” says Barker.
In addition to performing for children, Ballet San Antonio’s The Nutcracker includes over 160 children in its cast. I talked to Texas Public Radio’s Nathan Cone, whose daughter, Samantha Cone, is in the children’s cast again this year. Samantha was an Angel in 2013; this year, she gets to be both a Mouse and an Angel. “As parents, we are happy that she will be an Angel, too, because the Mice wear masks, and it’s hard to tell which one is your kid on stage,” says Cone.
Samantha studies ballet year-round at the Ballet Arts School. In August, she auditioned to be part of the children’s cast of The Nutcracker. The children’s cast has rehearsals at least once a week under the patient and watchful eye of Children’s Director Sally Simmons.
How does Samantha feel about being in The Nutcracker? “She loves it,” says Cone. “It’s great for her to get to work with professional dancers.” At home, she rehearses her own movements and also those of the older cast members; she hopes to be a Soldier next year. She is learning not only from the professional dancers but also from the older children.
Cone adds, “Studying ballet is a valuable physical activity, and it’s also good for building emotional discipline.” As Samantha studies ballet, she aspires to learn more. No wonder ballet is her favorite extracurricular activity.
My kids and I went to Ballet San Antonio’s The Nutcracker last year, when it was at the Majestic Theatre. My son had lots to say about it; the battle between good and evil—the Mouse King, and lots of little mice, against the valiant Nutcracker—really captured his imagination. My daughter was enchanted with the Land of the Sweets, a world tour of dance with feats of agility and vivid costumes. The dancing, costumes, and sets hold the kids’ interest while they soak in the beautiful music. The Nutcracker is a live theater experience that the whole family can enjoy together.
This year, with the move to the Tobin Center‘s H-E-B Performance Hall, Ballet San Antonio’s The Nutcracker will be better than ever. According to San Antonio Symphony Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto, the Tobin has a larger orchestra pit than the Majestic, so the Symphony will be playing the Nutcracker score with a full orchestra. Fujimoto says that having more instrumentation will create a “more lush, fuller sound.” Barker confirms that the same classic sets will be back; the costumes will be back, too, after a trip through the shop to be refreshed.
Have you been to a performance at the Tobin Center yet? I went on a tour while learning about another Tobin Center resident company, OPERA San Antonio; also, the Symphony invited me to hear their celebration concert with Reneé Fleming. The Tobin Center has high-tech acoustics and it’s beautiful to look at, inside and out.
The Tobin Center is located on the San Antonio Riverwalk, so you can enjoy the holiday lights along with your Nutcracker experience.
Here is the schedule for Ballet San Antonio’s The Nutcracker:
- Friday, November 28, 2014 at 2:00 P.M. & 7:00 P.M.
- Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 2:00 P.M. & 7:00 P.M.
- Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 2:00 P.M. & 7:00 P.M.
- Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 7:00 P.M.
- Friday, December 5, 2014 at 7:00 P.M.
- Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 2:00 P.M. & 7:00 P.M.
- Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 2:00 P.M.
My family bought our tickets online. To buy tickets by phone, call the Tobin Center Box Office at 210-223-8624; the phone lines are open Monday–Saturday from 8:00 A.M.–8:00 P.M. and Sunday from 8:00 A.M.–7:00 P.M. To buy tickets in person, go downtown to 100 Auditorium Circle (map); the box office is open Monday–Friday from 10:00 A.M.–6:00 P.M. and Saturday from 10:00 A.M.–2:00 P.M. and for one hour prior to curtain.
Ballet San Antonio’s The Nutcracker with the San Antonio Symphony, in their new home at the Tobin Center, is the truly local Nutcracker. Buying tickets to this production is an investment in local performers and in your children’s education in the arts. I hope you make it a holiday tradition in your family, too.