Dance performances

Ten festive dance performances bring the holiday spirit

THE NUTCRACKER BY MIKKO NISSINEN While there are “Nutcracker” productions all over New England this time of year, none can match the Boston Ballet version for its grandeur, excellent dancing, and live music. The company’s narrative of Clara’s fantastical journey sets the standard for jaw-dropping ballet magic. 29 Nov-Dec $29.37-$300. Citizens Bank Opera. 617-695-6955,

NUTCRACKER JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATER This long-running production delivers magic in a slightly different way, its smaller scale and simplified storytelling giving the ballet an engaging intimacy. With accessible prices and performances at two different locations, the production offers a sense of drama and immediacy that is particularly appealing to young viewers. 30 Nov-Dec 8, Majestic Cutler Theatre. 13-22 December, Strand Theatre, Dorchester. $25 to $80. 617-354-7467,

THE NUTCRACKER FROM NEWPORT TO ROSECLIFF It’s been 18 years since Island Moving Company left the stage to take their wildly popular production to Newport’s romantic Rosecliff Mansion. Snowflakes and flowers cascade down the famous heart-shaped staircase and down some of the mansion’s resplendent halls and hallways, with onlookers steps away as they follow the action. Limited tickets are selling out, so book early. 27 Nov-Dec $6.60-$195. Rosecliff, Newport, RI 401-847-4470,

THE GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER FROM THE MOSCOW BALLET This traveling production promises not only an impressive cast of Vaganova-trained dancers and more than 200 costumes, but also spectacular staging and sets evoking Russia’s great theatrical traditions, including 3-meter-tall puppets and birds. gliders. December 6, $44-$124. Boch Center Wang Theatre. 800-982-2787,

STEAL CHRISTMAS BoSoma Youth Company takes audiences on a journey into the magical world of Whoville with their take on the Dr. Seuss classic about the dastardly Grinch who finally understands the true meaning of Christmas. This annual winter dance concert is suitable for all ages, with Grinch-inspired gifts on sale before the show and during intermission. December 7-8, $15. Larcom Theater, Beverly. 978-922-6313,

AURORA BOREALIS: A FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AND DANCE In this 18th annual collaborative production from Boston University, the magic of the season is evoked through the interplay of light and form. The non-sectarian celebration features two different one-hour programs featuring dance and movement pieces (including aerial work) by faculty and students. December 8-9, free. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-353-1597, to come/

FUNNY UNCLE CABARET & NUTS / CRACKED In the first act of this irreverent and entertaining evening, Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion mirrors the seasonal drama as they explore the families we’re stuck with versus the community we choose. Next, David Parker’s The Bang Group takes “The Nutcracker” in a completely different direction with a wickedly funny parody featuring a range of dance styles. December 13-14, $10 to $100. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363,

BANBOCHE 2019 In its seasonal celebration, the entire Jean Appolon Expressions dance company immerses audiences in Haitian culture through a look back at the year. The evening includes performance highlights from programs of the year, as well as drinks and unique crafts. There’s also a chance for the audience to let loose, so bring your dancing shoes. December 14, $25 to $175 (free for children under 10). Arts Center at the Armory, Somerville. 617-718-2191,

WHAT THE DICKENS! With choreography ranging from ballet and tap to hip-hop and flamenco, Deborah Mason Dudley’s Cambridge Youth Dance Program presents a unique version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Now in its 11th season, this original dance theater show features talented youngsters as well as seasoned professionals and has become a popular tradition for the whole family. Dec. 14-22, $25-$65. John Hancock Hall. 617-616-5124,

THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER Choreographed by Jennifer Weber, this traveling production uses a mix of dance styles to bring the familiar story of ETA Hoffmann to contemporary New York City. The show features a dozen dancers, and Tchaikovsky’s score is complemented by musical remixes featuring an on-stage DJ and an electric violinist. Rapper MC Kurtis Blow opens the show with a short set. December 29, $42.50 – $62.50. Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts, Worcester. 877-571-7469,

Karen Campbell can be reached at [email protected]