SANTA FE, N.M. — Once a year, local dance lovers can watch the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet company veer away from its sleek, modern style and slip into a world of chocolate, candy canes and even a sugar plum fairy as they perform “The Nutcracker” for two nights only. This weekend, more than 60 performers, including the regular troupe along with guest artists and children from the local ASFB dance school, will stage Tchaikovsky’s 1800’s Christmas tale of Clara and her wooden doll that turns into a prince and whisks her away to the Land of Sweets. Shows will be at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco, Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Ticket prices range between $36-$94 and can be purchased at ticketssantafe.org.
WINTER LIGHTS: The Santa Fe Botanical Garden is once again opening its doors after hours for its holiday light show. GLOW, which opens tonight and continues nightly through New Year’s Eve, features thousands of lights making up designs and fixtures throughout the garden, as well as laser shows, music and snacks. A different live act will be featured each night, with Santa Fe’s Shiner’s Club Jazz Band kicking off the two weeks of shows. Local R&B band The Gruve will play Saturday and Denver-based Tiffany Christopher on Sunday. GLOW happens from 5-8 p.m. every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. General, non-member admission to the garden at 715 Camino Lejo is $9.50, with discounts for adult members, seniors, military or groups of 15 people or more. Children ages 12 and under are free.
PHOTOGRAPHIC TALE: On Saturday, a longtime fixture in Santa Fe’s art scene will be releasing his first book, delving into a world of “darkness, paranoia and insatiable hungers,” and describes the City Different as the “last chance for most.” Guy Cross, a Brooklyn-born former fashion photographer who moved to Santa Fe first in the late ’70s and back again in the early ’90s, is best known as the founding publisher of THE Magazine, the city’s modern art monthly. Using his photography and poetic-like narrative, the 150-page “Holy Misery” depicts Santa Fe and Los Angeles in the 1980s through the lens of his “dark passions fueled by sex, drugs, fear, and paranoia.” The book is told in the first person and has pieces of truth from his life, but other parts are fictionalized or happened to other people he associated with during that decade. Cross and Axle Contemporary, the local in-a-van mobile gallery, will host a release party, signing and reading at Phil Space, 1410 Second St., on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. Books are $30; a reading begins at 3 p.m.