From Russia, With Dove 

Our friend Purvis Knight loves The Nutcracker so much that to date he's seen 37 different performances of it around the world. The slightly obsessed Mr. Knight collects Nutcrackers the way some people collect Christmas tree ornaments, yet the globetrotting 'Cracker jack hasn't witnessed the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. In the Moscovian troupe's take on Tchaikovsky's perennial holiday classic, Masha still meets her prince but there's a unique twist to the story. The "Dove of Peace" (a choreographic/visual feat achieved by two dancers simulating a bird with a 20-foot wingspan) escorts Masha and her beau to the "Land of Peace and Harmony"; it's the company's paean to world peace. You can experience this interesting new variation on the familiar Christmastime ballet tonight at the Peabody Opera House (1400 Market Street; 314-499-7600 or www.peabodyoperahouse.com). Show time is 5 p.m. and tickets are $35 to $90.
Sun., Dec. 8, 2013

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