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A Nutcracker Navidad

The Nutcracker Ballet in the Land of Enchantment

Aside from a hot bowl of green chile stew, few things warm the holiday heart like a fine rendition of The Nutcracker. Pair some staples of New Mexico culture and the beloved Christmas ballet, and the results can be magical.

That’s the idea behind Nutcracker in the Land of Enchantment, an adaption of the Tchaikovskian classic served up with a fiery Southwestern kick. Presented by choreographer Patricia Dickinson Wells and artistic director of the Figueroa Music and Arts Project Guillermo Figueroa, the production begins Friday, Dec. 19, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW).

Forgoing snowy Germany for territorial New Mexico in the latter part of the 19th century, the narrative details of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 story stay mostly intact: With the aid of a dreaming child, an animated doll stabs an overgrown rodent to death. Festivities commence.

The Stahlbaum family, however, is replaced by the Pacheco clan; flamenco dancing is interwoven with traditional Russian ballet; and snakes, piñon forests and Victorian-era settlers’ garb add to the New Mexican feel. Accompanied by a full orchestra, the three-day run includes five performances as part of this year’s Festival Ballet Albuquerque. Friday thru Sunday, 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, 2pm. $14 to $47. National Hispanic Cultural Center • Fri Dec 19 • 7pm • $14-$47 • ALL-AGES! • View on Alibi calendar