Short description Sail away to a place you’ve only been in your dreams: the magical world of Eastern Connecticut Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Eastern Connecticut Ballet (ECB) will give its classic “Nutcracker” ballet a fresh spin this December with spectacular new scenery, additional special effects, and a setting that celebrates southeastern Connecticut’s seafaring past. The family-friendly event features two stars from the renowned New York City Ballet (NYCB): Sara Mearns, often called “the great American ballerina of our time,” and Jared Angle, an artist with high acclaim in the world of dance. Guest artists from Miami City Ballet and no less than 100 professionally trained dancers from ECB will share the spotlight. The curtain rises on Saturday Dec. 8 at 1:30 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 9 at 1:30 p.m. A discount of 50% off regular ticket prices is offered to active military personnel and their families for the Saturday evening performance only. Contact the Box Office for details on this special offer. For tickets, call the Garde Arts Center at 860-444-7373 x1 or visit www.gardearts.org.