Dancing mice and sugar plum fairies first graced the holiday stage more than a century ago, when the Moscow Imperial Theater debuted Tchaikovsky's now iconic Nutcracker ballet the week before Christmas 1892. The work was a hit but, as history would have it, the rest of the show was met with a lukewarm reception. Since the 1960's, however, The Nutcracker has been a holiday favorite for North Americans. Catch Ballet Idaho's performance of The Nutcracker, with accompaniment from the Boise Philharmonic, the weekend before Christmas at the Morrison Center. More than 100 kids from the Ballet Idaho Academy will dance in this year's performance, three of whom we feature in this week's Citizen.