The Nutcracker comes to life as the Darien Arts Center’s dance companies join together to enchant audiences of all ages at their annual production, ‘Scenes from the Nutcracker.’ This Tchaikovsky holiday classic is abbreviated to an hour-long narrated show, specifically geared for young audiences. Children get to sit up close and are invited to meet and greet the characters after the performance.

The show, a Darien favorite since 2002, provides an appealing introduction to attending dance performances for the younger set. “The Nutcracker was written for children,” said DAC Dance Director and show choreographer Bonnie Gombos, “It’s a fabulous adventure that also exposes audiences to different kinds of dancing and it’s a great opportunity to spark an interest in dance. The original version is just a bit long for little ones, so we’ve adapted ‘Scenes from the Nutcracker’ keeping them in mind.”

This year’s production features new dances, characters and colorful costumes, guaranteed to delight all audience members. The dances consist of members from the DAC dance department’s junior, senior and adult companies.

Performances will be held at the DAC Weatherstone Studio at 2 Renshaw Road, behind Town Hall. Show times are Dec. 9, 10, 16 and 17 at noon and 3 p.m. Tickets are $10. Reservations are highly recommended, as performances sell out quickly for this popular annual tradition. Call the DAC at 203-655-8683 or email Bonnie@darienarts.org for reservations.

Additionally, ages 6-11 attending Saturday, Dec. 9  performances of the Nutcracker may want to participate in the holiday printmaking and frame decorating workshop in the DAC Visual Arts Studio from 1-3p.m. Participants will sip hot cocoa and eat holiday treats while creating holiday-inspired Styrofoam prints on the DAC’s printing press. Their prints can then be put in a frame that they decorate, creating a perfect gift for family, teachers and friends. Fee for the workshop is $40, with no registration fee. Register for the workshop at darienarts.org or call 203-655-8683.