When Les Grands Ballets Canadiens first appeared in St. Louis in 1995, the "Wow!" factor they elicited from audiences lasted for weeks. If you did not see them, but had friends who did, chances are you heard stories of their artistry told with a kind of wonder usually reserved for childhood memories, or dreams of magical places that haunt the waking hours. To say that they returned "by popular demand" exposes the flimsiness of that cliche -- "by popular desire" might be more appropriate. If you know any of those curmudgeons who question the need for art, take them to see Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and they'll discover the answer. And if there's anyone you know who questions the need for the Nutcracker appearing each year as a holiday ritual, take them to the Fox this week, where Les Grands Ballets Canadiens join the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for a journey into childhood, into dreams, into enchantment.
Dance St. Louis presents Nutcracker at the Fox at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, Dec. 10 and 11; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12; and 1 and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13. Call 534-6622, 534-1700 or 534-1111 for tickets.
-- Eddie Silva