José Mateo’s ‘Nutcracker’ sometimes stumbles

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José Mateo Ballet Theatre returns this holiday season with their three-city tour of “The Nutcracker.”

On their intimate home stage at the Sanctuary Theatre, Mateo’s dancers are led by Drosselmeyer (executive director Peter DiMuro) in Act I’s party scene. DiMuro brings energy and direction to the ballet, showcasing his gifts and admiration for a young Clara (Leila Dixon).

There are more than 200 local children in this year’s production and the role of Clara is every little dancer’s dream. Fourteen-year-old Dixon has mastered the art of performance art in a small venue. She remains engaged with both her fellow dancers and the audience throughout.However, she is disappointingly absent in much of the second half, leaving the two acts feeling disconnected.

With a minimalist set, Mateo’s “Nutcracker” focuses on choreography. Unfortunately, in Act II, they miss the mark. The choreography is there, but the execution is not. For a mid-run performance, there were a fair amount of mistakes. Hopefully, they’ll work out those kinks in this weekend’s closing run.

If you go

Through Dec. 22
Strand Theatre
543 Columbia Rd., Dorchester
$15-$50, 617-354-7467
ballettheatre.org



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