Arts & Entertainment

Local Productions of “The Nutcracker” Kick Off the Holiday Season

When it comes to holiday shows and performances, one of the most popular productions is the classic ballet production “The Nutcracker.” Based on the 1816 short story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” the ballet can be a tradition for many as the holiday season approaches; with people enjoying the story, dance numbers and beautiful costumes.

BalletNova Center for Dance will host its annual holiday performance of “The Nutcracker” at Kenmore Middle School on November 26th and 27th. Artistic director Matthew Powell, pictured above with his two “Clara’s” Amelia Waldman and Alexa Salas, has been premiering his new production of the classic ballet story since last year and said it’s good “community building “ for the students to perform in the show. (Photo: Kylee Toland)

In Falls Church and surrounding areas, “The Nutcracker” is being performed at local dance and ballet studios for their upcoming holiday season. Although the story of the ballet mostly remains the same with each production, these studios add their own “uniqueness” to the beloved tale.

BalletNova Center for Dance, a Falls Church ballet studio, hosts an annual holiday performance of “The Nutcracker,” featuring both a petite and young adult version of the ballet. The production will be held at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington on November 26th and 27th. Matthew Powell has been the artistic director at BalletNova for four years, and said the studio became involved with their own production of “The Nutcracker” 17 years ago, with Powell “premiering” his new production of the ballet last year.
“It’s not only entertaining for the audience,” Powell said, “but it’s good community building for the students as well because it gives them the chance to cheer each other on as they tackle these roles.”

As for how Powell’s new production of the holiday classic compares to others, he said BalletNova’s production is a “complete, unique story about a young girl named Clara who goes on a magical journey,” rather than just focusing on the dance aspect of the story. Powell stated he wanted to feature Clara’s story more heavily due to his background in both classical ballet and theater.

For this year’s show, Powell said he is most excited about the influx of an audience for the production. BalletNova’s “The Nutcracker” also incorporates “special effects, beautiful scenery and amazing costumes.”

For more information on BalletNova Center for Dance’s production of “The Nutcracker,” visit

The Kintz-Mejia Academy of Ballet’s version of “The Nutcracker” will be presented on December 10th and 11th at Meridian High School. The Mclean-based ballet school is owned by Linda Kintz and her husband Mark Mejia, with co-artistic director Kintz stating the “Nutcracker” is an annual tradition since opening 37 years ago.

The school’s production of the ballet features “professional” boy dancers that Kintz said the studio brings in to dance with the older female dancers. She emphasized the Kintz-Mejia’s Academy of Ballet’s performance is not like a “kiddie show,” but rather appeals to all ages, including adults.
Since Kintz had been performing “The Nutcracker” at the age of three and onward as both a dance student and professional dancer, she said the story is personal to her and wanted to keep the tradition going of having it performed during the holiday season when first opening the school.

Kintz added that what makes their rendition “unique” is her and her husband’s background as professional dancers and prize winners in international ballet competitions in Moscow, Russia and Varna, Bulgaria.

“I think the production is a reflection of our past as dancers and our Russian influence in the Russian system,” Kintz said.

For more information on The Kintz-Mejia Academy of Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker,” visit Linda Kintz and Mark Mejia also own The Falls Church School of Ballet, which will be hosting their production of the ballet called “The Nutcracker Suite” at the studios of The Kintz-Mejia Academy of Ballet on December 4th. For more information on The Falls Church School of Ballet’s production, visit