The Darien Arts Center’s dance companies is hosting its annual production of “Scenes from the Nutcracker” this weekend.

The Tchaikovsky holiday classic is abbreviated to an hour-long narrated show, geared for young audiences. Children get to sit up close and are invited to meet and greet the characters after the performance.

The show, a Darien favorite since 2002, provides an introduction to attending dance performances for the younger set.

“ ‘The Nutcracker’ was written for children,” DAC Dance Director and show choreographer Bonnie Gombos said. “It’s a fabulous adventure that also exposes audiences to different kinds of dancing and it’s a great opportunity to spark an interest in dance. The original version is just a bit long for little ones, so we’ve adapted ‘Scenes from the Nutcracker’ keeping them in mind.”

This year’s production features new dances, characters and colorful costumes. The dances consist of members from the Dance department’s Junior, Senior and Adult companies.

Performances will be held at the DAC Weatherstone Studio at 2 Renshaw Road, behind Town Hall. Shows are Dec. 18 at 6 p.m., Dec. 19 at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 5 p.m. and Dec. 20 at noon and 3 p.m. Reservations are recommended. Call the DAC box office at 203-655-8683 or email Bonnie@darienarts.org for reservations.