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HOLIDAY ARTS GUIDE

‘The Nutcracker’ and 5 other dance performances on screen this season

Televised and streaming versions of the Christmas classic, plus a newly commissioned Hanukkah-themed work, will dance across screens this holiday season

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Tony Williams's "Urban Nutcracker" will present a recorded version this year.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Tony Williams's "Urban Nutcracker" will present a recorded version this year.Petr Metlicka

THE NUTCRACKER Since area audiences can’t throng to the Opera House for Boston Ballet’s beloved holiday classic this year, the company is offering to bring the ballet to you — for the first time ever and free of charge. The brand-new one-hour streamlined version, edited from video of previous years’ dress rehearsals, will have three television airings plus 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’s charmingly irreverent classic goes online this season with four airings of a recorded performance from 2019. Produced by City Ballet of Boston, the show features music by both Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington, with dance styles ranging from ballet to hip-hop. Always with an eye to diversity and accessibility, these free streamed performances ensure that anyone with access to the Internet can get in on the fun. Nov. 28, Dec. 4, 13, and 24. Free, but tickets required. www.urbannutcracker.com

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THE SLUTCRACKER Leather and lace, tassels and whips — this fanciful and bawdy take on the classic ballet includes not just ballerinas but belly dancers, hula hoopers, and all manner of burlesque performers. It’s a diverse reimagining with a feminist bent that tells the tale of Clara’s journey toward sexual empowerment. A tradition in Boston since 2008, the show goes virtual this year as “Slutcracker: The Movie.” You may never hear Tchaikovsky’s score the same way again. Ages 18 and up. Through Christmas Day, $12 and up. theslutcracker.com

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

THE GIFT Though it’s part of the BB@yourhome series, Boston Ballet is wisely offering this one as a standalone to complement its virtual airings of “The Nutcracker.” Set to Duke Ellington’s bluesy jazz classic “Nutcracker Suite,” the holiday offering consists of divertissements newly created by company dancers plus a finale from the original “The Nutcracker” — the regal Act II grand pas de deux. Dec. 17-27. $40, or $180 for the full series of six different programs. www.bostonballet.org

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FUNNY UNCLE CABARET & NUT/CRACKED The digital version of this annual production by Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion and The Bang Group offers a quirkily skewed, 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 implies. Content will be a mix of prerecorded and live. Dec. 20, 3-4:30 p.m., streaming live 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.
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 Museum of Fine Arts’ annual community Hanukkah celebration, hosted in partnership with the Jewish Arts Collaborative, commissioned a new work from the company especially for the occasion. Entitled “Shadows and Flame,” the new filmed work was choreographed by company co-artistic director Jessie Jeanne Stinnett along with five of the troupe’s core performers and features original music by Grant Stinnett. Dec. 9, 6-7 p.m. Free streaming on the MFA’s website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page.


Karen Campbell can be reached at karencampbell4@rcn.com.