Do This: The Nutcracker Twist and Ringling's Greet the Light

click to enlarge FIRE! Ringling's Greet the Light will feature professional fire spinners. - Ben Weickert
Ben Weickert
FIRE! Ringling's Greet the Light will feature professional fire spinners.

click to enlarge FIRE! Ringling's Greet the Light will feature professional fire spinners. - Ben Weickert
Ben Weickert
FIRE! Ringling's Greet the Light will feature professional fire spinners.
  • Ben Weickert
  • FIRE! Ringling's Greet the Light will feature professional fire spinners.

Over the years, The Nutcracker Twist, formerly known as The Chocolate Nutcracker has been a community project consisting of more than 200 children from the Tampa Bay Area. Students along with professional, national artists team up in a 12-week training experience in both cultural arts and behind-the-scenes production.

Taking place in the swing setting of the Harlem Renaissance and merging into Jazzland, Gospeland, and even the Land of Funk in Africa. The new spin on Tchaikovsky’s provides the audience with many international experiences all in one show. After all, the youth of the Bay area have a tough nut to crack — what audiences believe The Nutcracker should be like. Students bring to life Clara, a young girl traveling with her chocolate nutcracker through a dream and add their own twist to a magical performance. 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sat., Dec. 21. Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. $17, $27 and $37. 727-893-832. TheMahaffey.com. —Kyetra Bryant

Celebrate the Winter Solstice in swanky-pagan style in the Ringling Museum of Art’s picturesque courtyard. Greet the Light: The Ringling’s Winter Solstice Celebration welcomes winter and a new solar cycle with food and drink specials, signature cocktails, fire dancers, LED-illuminated furniture and smooth tunes by DJ Imminent (facebook.com/DJImminent). The event pays tribute to the second anniversary of the museum’s technicolor Joseph’s Coat Skyspace, created by internationally renowned artist James Turrell, which will be included in the price of admission for this event only (usually, it's $5 extra). At 3,000-plus square feet, is is the largest of its kind, with a 24-foot square aperture in a canopy 35 feet above and a central colonnade composed of columns 20 feet high. The event also launches the 2013-14 season of The Ringling’s Art of Our Time initiative, nowHERE: 92 Days, 17 Encounters, 100 Artists and 1 Common Journey (Ringling.org/nowHERE). 7-11 p.m. p.m., Dec. 21, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. $15. facebook.com/TheRingling. —Julie Garisto

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