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dance reviews



November 2013




DianaWheaHage - Ferndale

The performance was lovely.  The scenery was breath-taking.  My family and I plan to make this an annual tradition.


M. J. O'Hare - Troy

Thought it was beautiful! Dancers were perfect and the music was great!


T Askew - Southfield



Rick Duncan - Troy

I did not know there was no dialogue with the audience. I enjoyed the second half more.


Anne Guerrier - Milford

Very enjoyable and entertaining. Great dancers. Christmas atmosphere with Carol singers in foyer.


Anastassios Tsantis - Saline

Excellent show, we enjoyed it very much! Please keep up such wonderful productions in the future.


Paul - Allen Park

We took our 10 year old granddaughter for her birthday. The performance was truly wonderfully........and a wonderful experience for a ten year old. The three of us agreed that the second act was most enjoyable.


Cecelia Davis - Detroit

What a wonderful show. They children were great. Great job to the whole cast. Special Thanks to Judy and Joanne for their hard work with children and the parents.


Jamie - Greenwood, IN

My daughter and I go to see the Nutcracker at a different venue every year, and this was our favorite one so far. The performance was terrific! We were also very pleased with the Detroit Opera House and the organized and friendly staff. I would definitely recommend both the location and show. It was a great addition to our holiday tradition!


David Scott - Bloomfield Hills

Wonderful all around show! Very professionally done every year and the symphony is world class.


Juanita - Metamora

Wonderful show. Beautiful costumes and scenery. The performers were wonderful. Nice family entertainment.


Bruce J. Ross - Ypsilanti Township

The Nutcracker at the Opera House is a tradition for my family. We enjoyed the BalletMet's edition of the Nutcracker, from the music and the performance, it was quite memorable!! I cannot wait until next year! Also, it was really nice to see the young performers as well. I truly enjoyed the arts as a youngster. That's why I enjoy it as a 50 year old man. First class show by a first rate organization!!!


HG - Washington, D.C.

We had a lovely time.  Great music, child dancers were delightful to watch - very expressive.  Dancing was beautiful.  We liked the ornament option.


kathleeno'brien - Bloomfield Hills

Everything was lovely - dancing, costumes, set, children and choreography!  A refreshing re-do but still classical!


deanna - Novi

We've been to many Nutcracker performances and this was one of the best. The costumes, props and sets were stunning. The only thing I'd suggest changing is the narration. It's both distracting and takes away from the beauty that is ballet.


Pearl - Flint

Very excellent show. Detroit Opera House was decorated beautiful. Gorgeous theater.


Janette - New Boston

Took my 6 yr old granddaughter, she loved it and so did I.


Rachypachy - Commerce Twp

What an excellent performance!! Unbelievable talent. Thanks for the memories.


Sally Doerr - Westland

Loved it! Especially those two very talented Ginger gymnasts - they were amazing and too cute!


Lori Shoha - Pontiac

Awesome show!!! I especially loved the sugar plum fairy, the Arabian dancers and the pages!!!


TonyH - Livonia

Great performance this afternoon.  Such a special Holiday tradition in Detroit!


Ceci - Hartland

It was my first live performance of The Nutcracker. I loved the set, the dancing was wonderful. So much talent.


No-Food-Allowed - Detroit

Loved the performance!...but did not love that theater patrons were able to bring food into the auditorium. It was very distracting listening to the young girl behind me chewing on popcorn. I was also not very enthused when that same young girl coughed a full mouth of chewed popcorn all over me. Going to the theater to see a stage performance is not the same as going to a movie theater and should not be treated as such. Food should not be allowed in the auditorium.


Tavi Jones - Detroit

Absolutely beautiful! A must see for all.


Jo and Rod - Sandusky

We have seen at least 7 Nutcrackers and this 2013 Detroit show was full of pleasant surprises! The Opera House is also beautiful and amazing. We enjoyed talking with various gift and concession shop employees who obviously also loved their jobs.

What a nice Saturday night.


Liz - Troy

Absolutely beautiful and stunning performance! Such a joy to watch the talented professional and children dancers. The Detroit Opera House is the perfect home for dance in Detroit!


Julie F. - Novi

Music was wonderful, dancing was lovely. This is an annual tradition for our family. We DID NOT appreciate the narration.  It really detracts from the beautiful music to hear a voice speaking over the music. I would enjoy it even more without the narration. We all know the story.


Sandy - Dearborn

Loved the performance!  Great venue.


Brandy Lynn Piazza - Brownstown

Much applause for the Michigan Opera House Orchestra, the stage, and the dance! BalletMet Columbus took me to a magical place this evening. Gorgeous dancers! Amazing evening!!


Caryn Taylor - Washington, D.C.

I attended the Saturday evening show with my husband, parents, and fifteen-year-old stepson. Each one of us was smitten by the stellar performances of the dancers and musicians, the luscious staging, exquisite costumes, and unparalleled ambience of the Opera House. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the holidays with my family- it was pure magic. It had been over ten years since I last saw The Nutcracker at the Detroit Opera House... I promise to return again, and sooner!


Simone - Germany

It was awesome. The whole performance was so nice. Glad that we could make it all the way to the opera house (from Germany.


Mel - Detroit

The staff at The DOH  and Cadillac cafe were lovely. I would return because they made us feel welcome. We also loved the theater's seats and comfort of the space. The performance was amateurish but fun and easy for a holiday family experience.


The Hudsons - Ann Arbor

A "Must-See" for every holiday season! This performance was magical, bursting with all the grandeur of the Christmas season. The skill, costumes, props, choreography...ALL of it was a perfect treat to share with someone you love!


Stephanie - Northville

I thoroughly enjoyed the Nutcracker. This was my second year and I wouldn't miss it. The score and dance was superb. I also enjoyed the venue and carolers who serenaded us we walked to our seats. My 6 year old daughter wants to be a ballerina now.


Liz S - Bloomfield Hills

While the scenery was beautiful, my husband and I felt the dancing was not up to par.  We have both seen The Nutcracker performed by different groups, and this production did not "Wow" us as the others had.  We also felt there was too much emphasis on the very young dancers.  They weren't very good, and we would have preferred to see professional dancers in those scenes. Overall, it was good, but not great.


TQK - Highland

My daughter's and I really enjoyed the show and the venue was beautiful.  The orchestra was awesome.  The dancers were very good.  We were hoping for more of a story line and the show seemed short but the other positives made it worth it.  The costumes were pretty but not over the top like I have heard some of the other shows to be.  We enjoyed the reindeer prior to the show and seeing Santa and taking pictures with the Nut Cracker.  We had lunch prior and the best part was the staff and it was nice to have lunch available ... HOWEVER the food was ... oh not good at all and very overpriced for what you get.  It was mac n cheese and hotdogs with cheap chicken nuggets for $10.00 each.  I hope they took some of that money and gave it to the staff and contributed it to the DOH.  We won't be getting lunch next time.  Overall it was a great day with my daughters.


Rob - Fraser

An outstanding performance! We loved everything.The scenery was great, the orchestra was awesome and the dancers were amazing. A perfect night with my family.


Teri - Taylor

The props in scene one were beautiful. The dancers were graceful and full of life. The young dancers were so cute and adorable. The characters were entertaining. You need to watch the whole stage to try and not miss anything! The choir that sang during intermission sounded as beautiful as the orchestra. The Detroit Opera House is such a beautiful venue, I am always awestruck by its decorations. 

It was my boyfriend's first time seeing The NutCracker and all he could say after was "Amazing".


Tiffany - Detroit

This was my first time ever attending the ballet, and I loved it!! My 9 year old daughter came with me and we both were sad when it was over. It was a magical show, amazing sound, and wonderful staff at the Detroit Opera house. We made it early enough for the dance talk, which I highly recommend for first time or beginner viewers. Absolutely amazing and we will be incorporating this show into our holiday routine!!


AnchorBayBoy - Royal Oak

Thoroughly enjoyed the production.  It had been quite a few years since I'd last seen it.  Just slightly updated, with beautiful sets, lighting, and costumes.  The dancers and actors were a joy!  My pleasure to recommend the show!


Randolph - Commerce

It was good.


Danielle Ismirle - Detroit

What a great set! It was true Love You! Magical from all the pre-show activities to every dance. Best nutcracker I've seen to date. Beautiful ending, with the bowing toy on the fire place.


Nancy B. Henk - Clinton Township

My great-grandniece missed the face-painting this year but loved the crafts! The staff was so welcoming and friendly and the performance was, of course, splendid!


Brent - Ann Arbor

This was my first ballet and I really enjoyed it. I love the story of a little girl excited for Christmas and being taken away to a magical world. I was impressed by the costumes, the sets, and the charisma of the lead dancers. I went expecting something much more abstract and barren, and was overwhelmed with the rich visuals of the performance. Throughout the whole show I found myself spotting new shapes, colors, and layers of the stage and set. 

I also liked the choreography that lined up with the music and the story ushering the girl into a wonderland that is the common combination of scary and exciting that the Human Condition creates for so many.


Jim Plante - Harrison Township

The production was a disappointment. 

The staging and costumes were more like what we would expect from a local amateur production. The dancers were quite good, but the overall effect was diminished by the bland costuming and set pieces.


Rania - Grosse Pointe Woods

Spectacular performance...stunning costumes and scenery! My children loved going on stage and greeting the cast!


C - Oakland

Amazing performance! The male lead and the sugar plum fairy were particularly great. Well done show.


Louis Chiara - Commerce

Superb and innovative and polished.  Graceful and athletic dancing.  Choreography very good.  Props and costumes were beautiful, indeed, works of art. Enjoyed the special effects.

Buffet was poor.
Your website did a bad job of informing patrons whether the reindeer and Santa Claus, which were a nice touch for the kids, were before or after and at what times. Ornaments were over priced.  We appreciated seeing police cars as we were leaving.  Always a safety concern when going down town, especially in the evening.


Jen T - Grosse Pointe Park

Amazing show!! Very talented dancers, beautiful set and gorgeous costumes!! A must see!!!


Ken Kopas - Lincoln Park

Great show.


Ms monique - Novi

This was my first time seeing the Nutcracker.  The show was wonderful. I look forward to going again!!!


Perpetua - Dearborn

Our daughter, Allison was cast as a small angel in this year's (BalletMet Columbus) production. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to participate.  It was a wonderful experience for her. The choreography, costumes, and stage scenery were professionally presented. The performers did their best to pull the audience into the character's part.  We look forward to next year's event.


Judy - Farmington

Loved the performance. Beautiful venue and costumes. Staff were helpful. We loved the sugar plum fairy. Her dancing was exquisite !!  It was a wonderful way to start our holiday season. The narration was hard to understand and seemed to echo. That was our only issue. Thank you for bringing this show to the Detroit Opera House.


Suzi T - Lake Orion

I have been seeing The Nutcracker in Detroit since it was at Ford Auditorium in the 80s.  This was my daughters 11th year.  She also danced in the production with Ballet Met two years ago, an absolutely priceless experience.  There is so much to love in this production.  The scenery, orchestra, costumes and choir are all top notch.  One of my favorite parts is how accessible this Nutcracker is.  For many people, this is their first ballet.  The spoken words, special effects, humor, child dancers, plum parade, etc help make it an enjoyable experience.  To me, The Nutcracker is more about magic than technique.  There are other performances during the year for that.  I go the Opera House 3-4 times a year.  The staff from the ticket office, parking, ushers have all been wonderful.  I have only two minor gripes.  I have noticed that in the past few years, there has been more food available in the lobby.  That food is being brought in and eaten during the performance.  I heard at least two cans being opened, popcorn, wrappers crinkling, etc.  Ballet should be accessible but it's not the movies.  That noise is distracting.  I'm sure most people can go an hour without food or drink.  The other thing is the second act.  Ballet Met has changed the order of the scenes.  It's kind of jarring for us who are familiar with the music.  Neither of those things will stop me, my mom and daughter from coming every year.  It's not Christmas without it.  Thanks DOH!


Bubie Bonnie - Northville

What a perfect way to introduce my granddaughter to the arts..her parents didn't think she would do well, but she was entranced..the MOT orchestra is a treasure and the production was perfect..I am so grateful we have MOT and the dance programs in Detroit.


Tracey F - Bloomfield

This is the most beautiful production of the Nutcracker I've ever seen! The company dancers were exceptional and the local children dancers were superb.

I especially enjoy the narration by Roger Moore. The set was spectacular ...I especially enjoy how they created the Arabian scene with the silk fabric to represent the sand. The costumes were all amazing as well. DOH please make sure we keep BalletMet coming...this is our second year attending!!!

Also, DOH, your staff is always so helpful and friendly!!!


Taylor - Roseville

A beautiful production!!!


L Voldeck - Warren

A mother and daughter tradition every Christmas; great way to kick off the season; staff and performance top notch !!!


Pat and Bill - Plymouth

Terrific!  Another excellent performance to kickoff the Christmas season.


j embry - Highland pk

Loved the show - beautiful.


Plymouth patron - Plymouth

Thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon performance with my 6 yr old daughter.  A great way to get into a festive Christmas spirit.  The dancers, costumes, set, and music were all just wonderful!  I agree, didn't really like the narration; it was oddly loud and too hard to understand anyway.  Also, I appreciate that drinks can be brought into the theater, but loud, crackly chips and popcorn bags should stay out!


Kristin S - Birmingham

It was the best performance of the Nutcracker I have ever seen. The dancing and staging were excellent and the opera house looked great as usual. It was a bit more modern without sacrificing any if the wonderful tradition that is The Nutcracker. This is a holiday tradition for us I look forward to every year.


tbl101 - Bloomfield Village

Hands down the best production of the Nutcracker I have ever seen.  The set and costumes were stunning and the dance was incredible!  Bravo!


Owen family - Cleveland, Detroit

Outstanding!! Was enjoyed by entire family.


Nicole - Dearborn

Nice production.  Not the best I have seen but still very enjoyable.  Glad to see they used local talent.  Did not like having a narrator seemed very out of place.  Some costumes came apart as the girls danced which was very distracting.  Overall, nice and loved seeing it at the Opera House.


Heather Bradshaw - Royal Oak

What a lovely holiday start for all my girls. First time for me, my mom, my mother in law, and my granddaughter, not first for my daughter. First time at the Opera House as well. Wonderful lunch and ballet. Thank You.


Lisa - Huntington Woods

It was a beautiful performance of the nutcracker.  The combination of music, dancing, lights, and set design kept me captivated from start to finish.  Bravo an amazing show:)


Jennie - Roseville

Always a great show! The dancers are amazing, the scenery is great and so much for the kids to do-crafts, live reindeer, Santa and the Nutcracker himself. My daughter and I go every year. She loves it so much she always starts asking about if and when we are going in about August.  Loved it!!!


Meredith - Grosse Pointe Farms

We had a wonderful time, it was a beautiful performance and my eight year old son loved it too!


Adrian Guerra - Canton

Excelent presentation, world class ambiance.


John Strehler - Grosse Pointe

A truly wonderful production at a beautiful gem in the city!


Carla - Grosse Pointe

The show was absolutely beautiful and highly entertaining for my 7 and 4 year old daughters. We loved the costumes, the dancers, the children, the humor, and the set! Thank you to entire team for giving us a wonderful memory!


Mignon - Ypsilanti

I've been wanting to see the Nutcracker for years! Receiving the email for the discounted ticket price was just the excuse that I needed to go ahead and purchase the tickets! The Detroit Opera House is absolutely stunning and the ballet was just magical! Bravo for using local talent to help promote the arts! I will definitely be recommending this show to others!


Michael - Troy

First time seeing this show. It exceeded my expectation. I will see it again and recommend others see the show as well.


J. Hogan III - Roseville

What a beautiful rendition of a Christmas classic.From the dancers breathtaking leaps through the air to the eye popping colors of the costumes and stage, this was a great way to get the holiday spirit, a fantastic start to the holiday season for anyone to enjoy.


Vickie - Detroit

Very nice production.  We went for a "girls" day out.  Was a nice holiday treat.


Becky - Birmingham

This was a wonderful show! THe dancers, stage/props, and costumes were very impresive. It was fun to see so many kids in the performace, since the audiance was full of them too! Also, the staff/ushers were super polite and helpful.


Jaylynn - Allen Park

I enjoyed "The Nutcracker" at the Detroit Opera House. This is the first ballet that I have seen and I was truly entertained. I would recommend seeing it!


Tyler - LaSalle

Amazing show.  It was my daughter's first ballet and she thoroughly enjoyed the performance.  We look forward to next year's performance.


Marie - Trenton

The show was absolutely beautiful. The performers were amazing and the set design brought it to life. Each time I thought that I had seen my favorite part, another came along that was even more beautiful.


Kim - Troy

The Ballet Met's "The Nutcracker" was absolutely beautiful! The dancing was superb. The costumes and sets were beautiful. What a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas season!


weeshop - Detroit

Enjoyable overall.

I found the narration unnecessary but, then, I've seen it many times.  It's interesting to see various adaptations.  Dancing angels seemed a bit odd.  The other dances (Arabian, Russian, Chinese, et al) were nice although Clara seemed to be butting in to them rather than watching.

All in all it is always great to see. Thanks.


Nana - Grosse Pointe Woods



David Dupuis - Warren

The play and production were very nice.  The Opera House is a great venue for this show.  The choir before the show is always enjoyable, and a really nice addition.  I've seen the Nutcracker 25-30 times over the years, and hope it continues to be brought back each year.  It is the perfect start to the Christmas season.


Daniel Otwell - Sterling Heights

Was an awesome performance!


nadert - Sterling Heights

Loved the ballet!  The performance was breathtaking.


Steve - Farmington

Excellent show! Really well done.


Michelle K - Mount Clemens

The dancers, performance and theatre were AMAZING!!!! Our family enjoyed it so much we're hoping to make it a yearly tradition;)


Michelle - Waterford

I am a huge fan of the Nutcracker and I have gone to see it just about every year since I was a little girl. I wanted to love this production but it fell short. The costumes and sets were nicely done (although I missed seeing some of the more traditional dance costumes in the second act). Unfortunately the dancing and choreography were not up to par. I would have like to see more adult professional dancers in both acts to balance out the large number of children and student dancers. What happened to the nutcracker and Clara watching the cultural dances performed by groups? This cast seemed awfully small. The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier were both very good but the choreography did not take advantage of their skills, or the music. They could have done so much more. Finally, the narrator... Why? Just why? This is ballet. There is no need to talk. These dancers were excellent at pantomime and sharing the story through expression. That loud voice was completely jarring and out of place.


Peter Breitman - St. Louis

BalletMet is a very small company, and many people assume that a company of that size is much less competent than companies of a larger size. I have found that to be an incorrect assumption in many cases, this one in particular.

The BalletMet dancers did an absolutely marvelous job with "The Nutcracker." The dancers performed with technical excellence, beauty and an understanding of the needs of the dances.

The scenery and costumes were also excellent and contributed greatly to one's enjoyment of the ballet.

The choreography was not that of Petipa or any of the derivatives of that choreography. I assume it was created, taking smaller companies into consideration. However, it was excellent choreography and allowed the dancers to exhibit their talents within the context of the story.

I had never seen this company before, but I will look for their performances in the future.


William H. Roberts - Sterling Heights

We were very pleased with the presentation.


Christopher P Gravlin - Warren

Having never attended the ballet nor seen the Nutcracker I wasn't sure what to expect. I was surprised at how enjoyable the performance was along with the actual story itself. The Detroit Opera House was very beautiful and I do hope in the future to attend other performances there. Thank you all for a wonderful evening.


Joyce Krom - Huntington Woods

Year after year, BalletMet's performance of the Nutcracker at the Detroit Opera House is a wonder. The choreography is spectacular and changes slightly from year to year. The dancers are beautiful and well rehearsed, including the young, local dancers. The performance is further enhanced by the wonderful experiences and activities the DOH adds to the matinee shows. This is a "not to be missed" piece of our family's holiday traditions.


2MIB - Shelby Township

The performance was amazing. We had front row seats and felt like we were part of the play. Even the music was perfect; not too loud, not too soft. The conductor was right in front of us and we were worried that he would be in the way. Although we knew he was there, he seemed to melt into the stage. It was our first time, and it was so good that we will be there again. The foyer was great as well. The singers just enriched the Chrismas experience, along with the roasted chestnuts, a classic. When we first got to the opera house, we thought the dance would be 2 1/2 hours long, but the entertainment was short and sweet. We hope that the Opera house keeps the tradition for generations to come. Everything was great, even prior to the start; we could not stop looking at the theatre. The beautifully painted walls and ceilings, along with the velvet curtain and seats were all phenomenal. We walked around the seats for a bit before the dance, and every single view was astonishing. We couldn't keep going forever about how wonderful it was, and how the dazzling performance filled us to the gills with Christmas spirit. Every detail of the Detroit Opera House was delightful. From the very top of the ceiling to the floor, the experience was awesome! We thank the staff, dancers, conductor, and orchestra for a great time.


Kim - Detroit

The show was Great!  Love the costumes the stage atmosphere. The dancers were very good. This was my first Nut Cracker I will return for sure. Truly a great family show & the staff was very friendly.



Performance schedule concluded 
 Friday, November 29, 7:30p  BUY PERFORMANCE
 Saturday, November 30, 11:00a  Buy Buffet
 Saturday, November 30, 12:30p  Buy Buffet
 Saturday, November 30, 2:30p  BUY PERFORMANCE
 Saturday, November 30, 7:30p  BUY PERFORMANCE
 Sunday, December 1, 11:00a  Buy Buffet
 Sunday, December 1, 12:30p  Buy Buffet
 Sunday, December 1, 2:30p  BUY PERFORMANCE
Family Friendly Buffet:
Detroit Opera House Salad, Chicken Fingers, Mini Frankfurter Bar, Chicken Florentine Alfredo, Twisted Mac & Cheese, Holiday Marshmallow Squares



Journey to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy as, by popular demand, one of the nation’s most respected dance companies returns to the Detroit Opera House with their enchanting interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s magical holiday classic.

Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra conducted by Peter Stafford Wilson

Running time about 2.5 hours.

Matinee activities

sugarPlumParade.jpgFamily matinees include...

Santa and the Nutcracker arrive at 12:30.

  • Live reindeer
  • Photos with Santa and the Nutcracker
  • Join the Sugar Plum Parade on stage following the performance
  • Holiday-themed crafts
  • Free samples of “Nutcracker” ice cream (while supplies last)
  • Family-friendly Buffet ($10)


Family Friendly Buffet
Detroit Opera House Salad, Chicken Fingers, Mini Frankfurter Bar, Chicken Florentine Alfredo, Twisted Mac & Cheese, Holiday Marshmallow Squares


 artWorks80.jpg mcacaNew150.png

artMidwestClr45.pngThis presentation is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of
Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional
contributions from Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.