It’s a tradition folded in, Origami-like, within a tradition: A performance of The Nutcracker ballet, anywhere really, has become totally synonymous with ringing in the holiday season – with its at once familiar and heart-warming grace, style, and merriment that truly is, as the marquee might read, fun for the entire family.

The second layer of tradition belongs very much to Fort Worth as it has been Texas Ballet Theater artistic director, Ben Stevenson’s, annual presentation of the familiar and festive ballet that has served as Fort Worth’s unequivocal signal that the holidays have begun in earnest.

One of the biggest reasons for the ballet’s perpetual success is that Texas Ballet Theater always can be counted on, while blending all manner of new artistic bells and whistles, to continue to give a faithful presentation of the beloved story of Clara. She’s the young girl who, through her receiving the gift of a Nutcracker, enters a magical world with fanciful destinations as the Kingdom of Sweets and the Land of Snow. Clara takes her child-like journey in the steady company of a Nutcracker Prince. This year’s production is anticipated to reproduce so many of Stevenson’s new touches he unveiled for last year’s highly acclaimed Nutcracker – one which accentuated bravura dancing, bracing music, and eye-popping sets and glittering costumes.

In short, a production reliably guaranteed to usher in the holidays with panache and pizzazz.

The details: The Nutcracker – December 13-27. At Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth. Running time: 1 hour and 48 mins. Performance times: Mon-Tues, Thur 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.; Fri 2:00 and 8:00 p.m., Sat 2:00 and 8:00 p.m., Sun 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. More information: 877-828-9200; texasballettheater.org

The Nutcracker

[Image: The Nutcracker presented by Texas Ballet Theater.]