San Antonio Youth Ballet to perform ‘The Nutcracker’

Following an outdoor presentation of "The Nutcracker" in 2020, the San Antonio Youth Ballet will perform Tchaikovsky's classic holiday ballet this year at the Scottish Rite Theater. (Courtesy San Antonio Youth Ballet)
Following an outdoor presentation of "The Nutcracker" in 2020, the San Antonio Youth Ballet will perform Tchaikovsky's classic holiday ballet this year at the Scottish Rite Theater. (Courtesy San Antonio Youth Ballet)

Following an outdoor presentation of "The Nutcracker" in 2020, the San Antonio Youth Ballet will perform Tchaikovsky's classic holiday ballet this year at the Scottish Rite Theater. (Courtesy San Antonio Youth Ballet)

The weekend before Christmas brings a performance of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” from the San Antonio Youth Ballet.

All performances will be held at the Scottish Rite Theater at 308 Ave. E in Downtown San Antonio. Times and dates include 7 p.m. Dec. 17, 5 p.m. Dec. 18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 19. Ticket prices range $10-$60.

The shows from the nonprofit arts organization will be accompanied by the South Texas Symphonic Orchestra, led by conductor Ronnie Sanders, according to a release.

This is the first time the troupe members will be performing on a traditional theater stage since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ballet presented “The Nutcracker Under the Stars” at an outdoor drive-in theater in 2020.

"The cast and orchestra are equally excited to have the opportunity to present this production to San Antonio art enthusiasts, musicians and dancers alike,” SAYB Director Danielle Campbell Steans said in a statement. “Our organization stands out this year as being one of only a few Nutcracker performances in San Antonio that are accompanied by a live orchestra. We're honored to be able to perform in a traditional theater setting with an audience, especially during a time when the performing arts need support now more than ever to stay alive."



The Dec. 19 performance will be preceded by a Nutcracker Tea Party at the theater at 11:30 a.m. Here, adult and child attendees may enjoy a catered brunch; a chance to interact with ballet dancers and "The Nutcracker" characters; and shopping for ornaments, themed decorations and toys from the production. This is a separate ticketed event.

There also will be a free story time featuring different classic holiday stories for young families 30-45 minutes before each performance.

The mostly-youth cast for this performance ranges from age 3 to 53, and features performances by students of the San Antonio Ballet School, according to the release.

Proceeds from “The Nutcracker” ticket sales benefit the nonprofit's outreach initiative, Dance Reach, which offers low-cost or free ballet classes to youth and adults in San Antonio, SAYB officials said.

"Through this program, we're able to offer scholarships to students who demonstrate the desire and show promise in ballet. These deserving individuals are awarded a scholarship to continue their dance education at the San Antonio Ballet School where we follow the award-winning American Ballet Theatre Curriculum," Campbell Steans said. "My ballet school is very diverse. Case in point, this year for the first time in 50 years in San Antonio, we'll be featuring two black ballerinas in leading roles—one as Clara and one as Sugar Plum Fairy—which is actually a significant milestone for San Antonio."

Campbell Steans said the ballet holds citywide auditions and that anyone may be a part of the production.

"It's important to me. It's what drives me to go to work every day, because it's not always that the student with the most talent comes from a background that's the most supported," she added.

For tickets and more information, visit www.sanantonioballetschool.com/performances.

By Edmond Ortiz
Edmond joined Community Impact as a reporter in August 2021, helping to launch new editions in the San Antonio market. Edmond covers various beats in the North San Antonio coverage area. He previously was the main reporter for Local Community News, covering several areas in and around San Antonio, first as a freelancer and then staff member. Prior to that, Edmond was a community news reporter for Prime Time Newspapers and the San Antonio Express-News, including editing two community weeklies. He's a San Antonio native, and studied mass communications at San Antonio College and Texas State University.