Weeks ago, as we spotted the holidays on the horizon, we finally knew that some of our favorite traditions like Ballet Arkansas' "Nutcracker Spectacular" would be on hold until 2021. What we didn't know, however, was all the holiday cheer the dance troupe would fit into the season in its place.

"For 42 years, Arkansans have looked to Ballet Arkansas to celebrate the season," says Michael Fothergill, the troupe's executive and artistic director. "This year might look a little different, but we take that responsibility seriously."

Holiday events for Ballet Arkansas officially kicked off in November, and they're only getting more exciting as we approach the end of December. If they're not already on your calendar, here's a rundown of the free virtual/distanced activities Ballet Arkansas has in store:

 

Dec. 12 - Winter Wonderland with the Arkansas Arts Center

Experience the magic and beauty of dance and visual art as Ballet Arkansas and the AAC transform Main Street into scenes from the beloved story of "The Nutcracker." The perfect winter combination of live dance performance, storytelling and art history, the experience is unlike any other.

 

Dec. 18 - Magic of the Nutcracker Virtual Experience

The Magic of the Nutcracker brings joy to millions across the globe each year. Join Ballet Arkansas for a virtual Nutcracker experience featuring a past performance of "The Nutcracker Spectacular" including interviews with the artistic staff and performers.

 

Through Dec. 20 - Letters to Sugar Plum

This holiday season, you can connect with the Sugar Plum Fairy! Write her today and tell her your story, your thoughts and your dreams. She'll answer each message personally, and each week leading up to Christmas, you can chat with her live on Facebook.

 

Dec. 21 - Sleigh Ride Together with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas

This virtual event features two world-premiere pieces choreographed by Michael Fothergill and contemporary choreographer Madison Hicks. "Sleigh Ride," an upbeat classic by American composer Leroy Anderson, and the harmonious "Hallelujah Chorus" from Mozart’s arrangement of the "Messiah" will accompany the works.

 

Dec. 22-24 - Tales of Christmas with the Historic Arkansas Museum

Children and adults hold stories of the holidays close to their hearts. Join the Sugar Plum Fairy and The Nutcracker as together they read some of the most celebrated tales of Christmas. Filmed at the Historic Arkansas Museum in partnership with Cranford Co.

 

Dec. 24 - Off the Charts: Excerpts from "The Nutcracker"

On Christmas Eve, UA - Pulaski Tech: The Center for Humanities and Arts and Ballet Arkansas come together to present a few excerpts from the celebrated holiday classic, "The Nutcracker."

 

For more information, visit the Ballet Arkansas website and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.