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The holiday season is officially in full swing: Christmas-tree lots have sprung up around town, twinkling lights line neighborhood streets, and the curtains will soon part on two different productions of “The Nutcracker” — one at the Nugget Resort Casino and the other at the Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts.

This beloved ballet showcases a magical, mysterious Christmas Eve, when toys come to life, an army of mice marches, and sweet treats sparkle and swirl — all set to a legendary score, which was written by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1892.

In households across the nation, catching a performance of “The Nutcracker” each year has become a holiday tradition, right along with hanging stockings and decorating the tree. For professional dance companies, proceeds from this seasonal favorite often provide a financial cornerstone for the year.

Here in Reno, two separate dance companies are set to perform “The Nutcracker” soon — Reno Dance Company at the Nugget Resort Casino and Northern Nevada’s A.V.A. Ballet Theatre at the Pioneer Center.

“The Nutcracker” at the Pioneer Center

Under the direction of Alexander Van Alstyne, A.V.A. Ballet Theatre will appear at the Pioneer Center for four performances of “The Nutcracker” Friday, Dec. 11, through Sunday, Dec. 13. According to Alstyne, A.V.A. Ballet Theatre is Northern Nevada’s largest ballet company and is also the resident ballet company of the Pioneer Center. During these performances of “The Nutcracker,” the audience will not only get a chance to see local and professional dancers perform this Christmas classic, but guests will also hear Tchaikovsky’s famous score performed live by the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Laura Jackson.

Following the 2 p.m. performances on Saturday and Sunday, there will be a Sugar Plum party, where children can meet “The Nutcracker” characters.

What: “The Nutcracker” at the Pioneer Center

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13

Cost: $25 to $55 with discounts for seniors and children

Details: pioneercenter.com

“The Nutcracker” at the Nugget Casino Resort

Coming up Dec. 18-23, Reno Dance Company will take the stage at the Celebrity Showroom for the 14th annual performance of “The Nutcracker.” Doors will open one hour prior to the show.

What: “The Nutcracker” at the Nugget Casino Resort

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19; 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20; 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21; 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22; and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23

Cost: Tickets are $26.95 for regular seating, $21.95 for Seniors, and $19.95 for Children under 12.  VIP booth seating is available for $36.95. Discounts are available for seniors and children younger than 12. Call reservations or visit the front desk ticket window between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sales of regular tickets and VIP booths are available here.

Details: nuggetcasinoresort.com.

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