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Second Steps

What’s next after that first ‘Nutcracker’?


'Tis the season for the annual Nutcracker pilgrimage. But once your child develops a been-there-done-that attitude, it’s time to up the dance ante, and two companies—American Ballet Theatre for the classics and Limón Dance Company for newer work—now offer performances that nicely split the difference between fairy-tale pleasure and esoterica. At the Guggenheim, ABT bigwigs do a show-and-tell session, “From the School to the Stage,” about the rigorous training of young dancers. Between excerpts from classic ballets, Franco De Vita and Kirk Peterson—both ABT company teachers—will talk to the audience about graduating from a pale-pink leotard (the beginners’ uniform) all the way up to wearing out 120 pairs of pointe shoes per year. On the other side of town, Limón dancers are adding to their latest program for a family matinee at the Joyce. One of the five works on the lineup was choreographed by a 9-year-old, another by a 10-year-old, and both kids will be performing as well. Recordare, a new piece by Lar Lubovitch, celebrates Mexico’s joyful Day of the Dead as part of a colorful season-long tribute to the company’s late founder. José Limón himself never set out to choreograph for youngsters, says artistic director Carla Maxwell, who’s been with the company for 40-plus years and will also be performing at the matinee. “I never spoke to him about kids,” she said after a recent rehearsal. “But these works are very accessible. It just depends on the child.”

11/19, 11/20 at 7:30 p.m.; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave., at 89th St. (212-423-3587 or; $24 grown-ups, $15 students.

11/18 at 2 p.m.; Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Ave., at 19th St. (212-242-0800 or; $40 grown-ups, $10 kids.


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