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Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has announced its 2008-’09 Winter Dance Series. The series will feature five programs, all at the Aspen District Theatre.

The Winter Dance Series opens Dec. 20-21 with the annual performances of “The Nutcracker,” the Christmas-time fantasy based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffman and set to a score by Tchaikovsky. “The Nutcracker,” featuring guest artists and the students of the ASFB school, will have evening and matinee performances each day.

The New York City-based Lar Lubovitch Dance Company performs in Aspen on Jan. 18, as part of its 40th anniversary tour. The company’s first U.S. tour in 13 years will feature the signature piece, “Men’s Stories.”

The Peking Acrobats, a group of Chinese dancers/tumblers formed in 1958, return to Aspen with two performances, a matinee and an evening show, on Jan. 31.

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s resident company makes a hometown appearance Feb. 13-14. The program will feature a new work by Spanish choreographer Cavetano Soto, as well as the Aspen premiere of Twyla Tharp’s “Sue’s Leg.”

The series concludes March 28 with an appearance by Complexions, a New York City company directed by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. Rhoden was the first choreographer to create a commissioned work for the ASFB, in the mid-’90s.

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Tickets are now on sale for all dates in the Winter Dance Series. To buy tickets, call 920-5770 or 1-866-449-0464, or go to Aspen Show Tickets at the Wheeler Opera House. For further information, go to aspensantafeballet.com.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass is offering its Blind Faith Passes for sale through Dec. 31. The passes offer discounted admission to the nonprofit organization’s two major events, the June Festival and the Labor Day Festival.

A Blind Faith Pass is available for either of the two festivals, for $99. A pass covering both festivals is $149. The passes include one general admission ticket to each day of the festivals. The June Festival will be held June 18-20, at the Aspen Music Festival’s Benedict Music Tent, with a second weekend added this year, June 25-27, with performances in various Aspen clubs and restaurants. The Blind Faith Pass covers both weekends.

The Labor Day Festival for 2009 has been shortened to three days, Sept. 4-6. It will be held in its customary location, in Snowmass Village’s Town Park.

No acts have been announced yet for either festival. Artists appearing at past June Festivals include the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Herbie Hancock and Dianne Reeves. Artists appearing at past Labor Day Festivals include Widespread Panic, John Fogerty and Ben Harper.

Passes can be purchased at the Belly Up Aspen box office, online at jazzaspen.org, or by calling 1-866-JAS-TIXX (527-8499).

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