The Aurinko Ballet is thrilled to once again present the Contemporary Nutcracker in the breathtaking Lerner Theater. What images come to mind when you think of the Nutcracker? Swaying ball gowns that glide at the foot of a decked-out evergreen? Heaps of brightly wrapped boxes with shimmering bows? A girl traveling through a magic world of sweets and a handsome prince to accompany her? Aurinko Ballet invites you to view this classic Christmas tale from a unique perspective. Imagine a different picture—one that we face every day: busy streets bustling with shoppers talking on their cell phones, joggers hurrying from one place to the next, and, in the midst of the chaos, a girl left homeless and destitute on the bitter winter streets. She cries out for compassion and love but is met with indifferent, wintry glares. This is the opening of The Contemporary Nutcracker as choreographed by Gregory Hancock; the story follows Klara in her magical pursuit of a family and, in doing so, helps to show the true meaning of Christmas. The holiday season is not only about the shopping, or the food, or the gifts—it is about loving our neighbors (even those who seem far from us) and realizing that every human on this earth makes up a piece of a puzzle that works towards a whole. The Contemporary Nutcracker is about unity and love both within families and around the world. Be a part of this incredible adventure at the Lerner Theater in Elkhart. Tickets may be purchased through thelerner.com or at the Lerner box office. This emotional experience will influence you to love your neighbors and to understand the true meaning of the holidays because, in the end, “only kindness matters”.