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“The Nutcracker” has always featured dance variations from many traditions: Spanish, Arabian, Chinese, Russian, French and others. This year, American Midwest Ballet is adding another one: India’s bharatanatyam style.

“The Nutcracker” has always featured dance variations from many traditions: Spanish, Arabian, Chinese, Russian, French and others.

This year, American Midwest Ballet is adding another one. Dancers will perform a variation in India’s bharatanatyam style, said Erika Overturff, artistic director of the Omaha-Council Bluffs ballet company.

The dancers will come from Viswanatya Niketan, an Omaha school of classical Indian dance directed by Usha Devaraju.

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Bharatanatyam, which dates from the sixth century, is the most popular form of classical dance in India. It features intricate footwork and, like classical ballet, uses stylized gestures to convey meanings.

American Midwest Ballet produces Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” each year, often with new twists. The Indian variation will debut new costumes made with silk and jewelry from India, Overturff said.

The Omaha company also will stage the production in San Antonio, Texas.

It premieres at 2 p.m. Sunday at Iowa Western Community College’s Arts Center in Council Bluffs. Tickets, $22 to $56, are available at artscenter.iwcc.edu. It will move to the Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St., for performances at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 2 p.m. Dec. 8. Tickets range from $27 to $87 and are available at ticketomaha.com or 402-345-0606.

Betsie covers a little bit of everything for The World-Herald's Living section, including theater, religion and anything else that might need attention. Phone: 402-444-1267.

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