A tap-dancing Santa completes the troupe

While “The Nutcracker” is the traditional holiday-season ballet, the Institute for Dance started a new tradition 10 years ago with its ballet “Christmas Dreams.”

“The reason we decided to do something different 10 years ago is because … there so many dance troupes performing ‘The Nutcracker,’” said Kathy Palmo, studio director.

Over the decade, Palmo said the show has evolved and some changes have been made. But she says one performer has remained a mainstay: a tap dancing Santa Claus.

Another favorite is a Rockette-style dance performance.

Palmo admits there are some similarities to “The Nutcracker,” including a young girl’s dream over a broken holiday decoration. But instead of her nutcracker being broken by her brother, the young girl accidentally breaks her mother’s snow globe.

The adventure, narrated by Mike Maddocks, takes the audience through the story with various styles of dance and costumes.

Carols are performed by local a cappella singers.

“That is always a hit,” she said.

Palmo said the performance is nice for young children because it is about 90 minutes long.

“Most kids have a hard time sitting through a long show,” she said.

In all, there are about 60 performers who range in age from 8 to 18 years old and rehearsals started in September, Palmo said.

“And we are happy to say last year we sold out. People who tried to buy a ticket at the door were sadly turned away,” she said.

Want to go?

The show will be performed at 2: 30 p.m. Dec. 16-17 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Kimball Theatre. Ticket prices range from $10 -$15 and are available at kimball.wm.edu and at the Kimball box office an hour prior to the show.

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