Dance performances

“The Nutcracker” and 5 More Dance Shows on Screen This Season

NUTCRACKER Since local audiences can’t make it to the Opera for Boston Ballet’s holiday classic this year, the company is offering to bring the ballet to you – for the very first time, and for free. The all-new, streamlined one-hour version, edited from video of previous years’ dress rehearsals, will have three TV broadcasts as well as limited on-demand and online viewing opportunities. Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. on NBC10 Boston, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. on NECN and Dec. 5 at 11 a.m. on Telemundo. www.bostonballet.org

URBAN NUTCRACKER The 20th anniversary of Anthony Williams’ charming and irreverent classic goes live this season with four broadcasts of a recorded performance from 2019. Produced by Boston’s City Ballet, the show features music by Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington, with dance styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop. Always with diversity and accessibility in mind, these free-to-air performances ensure that anyone with internet access can enjoy themselves. Nov. 28, Dec. 4, 13 and 24. Free, but tickets required. www.urbannutcracker.com

THE BREAKTHROUGH Leather and lace, tassels and whips – this whimsical, debauched take on classic ballet features not only ballerinas, but also belly dancers, hula hoopers and all manner of burlesque performers. It’s a diverse reimagining with a feminist bent that tells the story of Clara’s journey to sexual empowerment. A Boston tradition since 2008, the show is going virtual this year as “Slutcracker: The Movie.” You may never hear Tchaikovsky’s score the same way again. 18 and over. Until Christmas Day, $12 and up. theslutcracker.com

Alainah Grace Reidy and Boston Ballet II in “The Gift”.Brooke Trisolini; courtesy of Boston Ballet

GIFT Although it’s part of the [email protected] series, Boston Ballet wisely offers this one as a standalone to complement its virtual broadcasts of “The Nutcracker.” Set to Duke Ellington’s bluesy jazz classic ‘Nutcracker Suite’, the holiday offering consists of newly created entertainment by company dancers plus a finale from the original ‘The Nutcracker’ – the grand pas de deux majestic from Act II. December 17-27. $40 or $180 for the complete set of six different programs. www.bostonballet.org

FUNNY UNCLE CABARET & NUTS / CRACKED The digital version of this annual production of Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion and The Bang Group offers a quirky, sometimes surprisingly touching take on the holiday season. “Funny Uncle Cabaret” celebrates the families we create for ourselves, and “Nut/Cracked” is as daffy as the title suggests. The content will be a mix of pre-recorded and live. December 20, 3-4:30 p.m., live broadcast via Zoom. Tickets $5-$20. www.holidaynutz2020.eventbrite.com

Choreographed by Jessie Jeanne Stinnett and dancers, Boston Dance Theater’s new “Shadows & Flame” is part of the MFA’s Hanukkah celebration.Boston Dance Theater

BOSTON DANCE THEATER The National Gallery’s annual community celebration of Chanukah, organized in partnership with the Jewish Arts Collaborative, commissioned a new work from the company especially for the occasion. Titled “Shadows and Flame”, the new filmed work was choreographed by the company’s co-artistic director Jessie Jeanne Stinnett with five of the troupe’s principal performers and features original music by Grant Stinnett. December 9, 6 to 7 p.m. Free broadcast on the MFA website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.


Karen Campbell can be reached at [email protected]