Sierra Nevada Ballet will perform "Peanutcracker -- the Story in a Nut Shell" twice on Dec. 1 in Carson City.
It's not like a Reader's Digest musical and dance version of Peter Tchaikovsky's classic, but "Peanutcracker" was written to provide brevity in ballet for a specific reason.
"I wrote it for the children," said Rosine Bena, who has performed the "Nutcracker" role of The Sugar Plum Fairy. She did so during her days as a top ballerina, and she wrote the adaptation almost two decades ago.
Bena's ballet company will offer two performances of her mini-classic for youngsters and their families in the afternoon and during the evening of that first Saturday in December at the Carson City Community Center.
"Peanutcracker" offers brevity in ballet for the purpose she intended when she wrote it in the Bay Area during 1993.
It introduces children to ballet and enhances interest among young people already familiar with the art form.
Bena will narrate throughout the 45-minute performances, which are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the community center.
The original "Nutcracker," which requires two acts with an intermission, takes considerably more time. This shorter version will reprise a classic first performed in Russia 120 years ago.
Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" was first done at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on Dec. 18, 1892.
At the community center, a host of dancers will perform, among them children of age four and older. But also performing will be adult professionals in the Sierra Nevada Ballet company headed by Bena.
"We have a lot of adults," she said, estimating at least 20 from her company dance in what has been billed a magical holiday treat.
Pre-show lobby entertainment at 1:15 p.m. will be by the Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble. Prior to the evening "Peanutcracker" performance, the pre-show lobby performance at 6:15 p.m. will be offered by Carson City Strings in the Schools.
The community center is located at 851 E. William St.
Tickets for either performance cost $6 for people 15 or younger, $11 for those 16 and older.
Tickets may be reserved by calling Gina Nelson at (775) 220-4452; they also may be purchased at the community center before each performance.
Amber Sady of the Carson City Library, who also is a member of the group Tintabulations Handbell Ensemble, said pre-show opportunities to learn about the ballet will be held at the library on Nov. 28 and 29.
At 10:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. both that Wednesday and Thursday, Sady said, dancer Ryan Walker is expected to provide children a preview of the "Peanutcracker" during story time.
The library is located across from the community center at 900 North Roop St.