The holiday season is an especially busy time of the year for the performance arts. For local dance companies, productions of the “Nutcracker” ballet are a regular part of the schedule. Some groups like to keep to traditional performances and others like to mix things up for a nuanced take on the theme.
“The Hip Hop Nutcracker,” for example, took place Nov. 15, thus becoming the first show to take place in the newly remodeled space of the Pantages Theater. If you missed it, don’t worry. There are plenty of chances to take in one or more performances of the Nutcracker and other holiday-themed dances coming up:
Dance Theatre Northwest’s ‘Happy Holidays’
Saturday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m.
University Place Library Atrium, 3609 Market St. University Place (Between 37th St W and Bridgeport Way W)
DTNW’s “Happy Holidays” is a community holiday dance performance at the University Place Library Atrium. The performance is free, handicapped accessible and open to the public with free parking under the library. Featured performers include Katherine Rose Neumann, Oceana Thunder and Neil Alexander along with members of the DTNW Company, DTNW Jr. Dance Ensemble and guests. “Sleigh Ride” and “Let It Snow” along with “Love on Layaway” and “Happy Holidays” are some of the highlights of a diverse lineup of classical and contemporary ballet, jazz, and exciting tap and musical theater pieces, plus excerpts from DTNW’s upcoming “The Nutcracker” and an accompanying lecture by artistic director and choreographer, Melanie Kirk-Stauffer.
Dance Theatre Northwest’s ‘The Nutcracker’
Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2:30 and 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 16, 4 p.m.
Mount Tahoma Auditorium, 4634 S. 74th St., Tacoma
Presented in the form of a bedtime story, and staged to Peter Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable classical score, DTNW’s ballet is updated each year, keeping this holiday favorite fresh and exciting. Guided by a magnificent angel, Clara dances into a magical dream where anything is possible through the swirling land of snow with its elegant white tutus to the mysterious land of sweets where she is enchanted by the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Cavalier, and their fascinating guests. Ideal for family audiences. Free parking and handicap accessible.
Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center’s ‘The Urban Nutcracker’
Friday, Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 2, 3 p.m.
Stadium High School, 111 N. E St., Tacoma
It’s Christmas Eve in Tacoma, and Clara’s family is hosting a party in their downtown mansion. The whole town is excited to attend this festive annual event. The guests will soon arrive to celebrate the holiday with dancing, sweets and exchanging gifts. Her uncle always delights the party goers with magical tricks and presents. He gifts Clara with an intriguing nutcracker, which her bratty little sister breaks. Magically, her uncle fixes her special nutcracker. After the last guest leaves, Clara falls asleep in the big comfy chair and…well, the real magic ensues!
Info: tacomaupac.org or www.facebook.com/events/558845207863157
Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma ‘s ‘The Nativity Ballet’
Dec. 6-7, 7 p.m.
Dec. 8-9, 4 p.m.
Metropolitan Ballet, 5435 S. Tacoma Way, Suite A, Tacoma
MBT celebrates 30 years of dancing the good news of Jesus. This full-length ballet is a beautiful way to begin the holidays, the birth of Christ Jesus told through classical ballet. Family friendly, this is an offering of love to the community.
Cost: Free. Call or text for reserved seats.
Info: (253) 472-5359 or www.metropolitanballetoftacoma.com
The Studio’s Winter Recital: ‘The Nutcracker’
Friday, Dec. 7, 6:15 p.m.
Steilacoom Community Center, 2301 Worthington St., Steilacoom
Come kickoff the holiday season with The Studio’s dancers as they perform selections from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” Enjoy snacks, hot chocolate and light shopping for dance wear for your favorite dancer. Dancers range from 3 years old to adult.
Tacoma City Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker & The Tale of The Hard Nut’
Dec. 15-16, 2 p.m.; Dec 20-21, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 22-23, 2 p.m.
Federal Way Performing Arts & Event Center, 31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S., Federal Way
“The Nutcracker & The Tale of The Hard Nut,” a timeless holiday classic, first presented in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia has entertained generations for well over a century. The story of “The Nutcracker,” now told in its entirety with the addition of “The Tale of The Hard Nut,” is presented alongside the traditional Russian “The Nutcracker” that features the historical scenery and costumes first seen by audiences in 1892. Tacoma City Ballet creates a glorious production filled with spectacular dancing, live orchestral music, grand scenery and lavish costumes that will enchant your entire family this holiday season.
Harbor Dance’s ‘Jewel Box Nutcracker’
Saturday, Dec. 22 at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Peninsula High School, 14105 Purdy Ln. NW, Gig Harbor
Harbor Dance is proud to present its very first annual “Jewel Box Nutcracker.” There will be two shows at Peninsula High School just in time to get you in the holiday spirit, both on Saturday, Dec. 22. General admission tickets are on sale at http://www.tututix.com/harbordance. The dancers have been working hard to bring this time honored, traditional ballet to Gig Harbor.