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Performance on Screen: THE NUTCRACKER

The young girl Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, the magician Drosselmeyer, the Mouse King and the Sugar Plum Fairy — the most beloved and recognizable ballet in history is the ultimate nostalgia for some and always a revelation for newcomers. Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker has become the definitive version of this beloved staple with Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score bolstered by dazzling stage magic and featuring the most familiar composition in all of ballet, The Nutcracker Suite with the sublime Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Performance on Screen: ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND

Follow Alice down the rabbit hole and her strange, delightfully confusing encounters in Wonderland with the instantly recognizable characters the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts in this exuberant and entertaining adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic from director Christopher Wheeldon. Marvelously staged, this modern production premiered in 2011 and explodes with imagination and feeling.

Performance on Screen: THE MAGIC FLUTE

Premiered just two months before his death, this fantastical masterpiece is among Mozart’s finest achievements. The Queen of the Night enlists Prince Tamino to rescue her daughter Pamina from the enchanter Sarastro with the help of the endearingly tactless bird-catcher Papageno but when they arrive, his priorities shift and he endures a series of trials to join Sarastro’s community. A supremely entertaining comedy featuring lively duets and arias, Mozart’s score runs the gamut from grandiose to poignant to playfully silly.

THE LAST DALAI LAMA?

Now in his 80s, the Dalai Lama is dealing with mortality but it doesn’t seem to concern him much. This inspiring documentary looks at the life of the Dalai Lama and focuses on his thoughts and reflections looking back and forward. The big question everyone is asking: will the Dalai Lama be reincarnated again? He isn’t so sure. The Last Dalai Lama? also features interviews with those who admire him, including Philip Glass, who composes the film’s score with Tenzin Choegyal.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Surely the most ambitious ongoing project on the planet, scientists from the wealthiest countries have gathered in the French countryside to create an artificial sun. The end goal? Energy for the whole world. With time and money poured into the experiment, its failure would be a huge blow against the quest for alternative energy sources.

THE FARTHEST

In this rousing testament to the desire to explore the unknown, The Farthest tells the story of the Twin Voyager probes launched into space in 1977, which have now visited Jupiter, Neptune and beyond. Carrying recordings and images of life on earth, if there are sentient beings out there, the Voyager will reach them—though long after we are gone. In present day they are entering deep space and exiting our solar system with their journey set to continue for millions of years, as possibly the only evidence of our existence.

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