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Holiday Arts Preview

The holidays’ most festive dance performances include 7 different Nutcrackers

Paulo Arrais in Mikko Nissinen's "The Nutcracker"Liza Voll

MIKKO NISSINEN’S THE NUTCRACKER Boston Ballet’s classic production of “The Nutcracker,” with music from the Boston Ballet Orchestra, has been a New England staple for more than 50 years. Expect impressive set pieces — including a 42-foot Christmas tree — and a cast of both world-famous professionals and some 240 young dancers from Boston Ballet School. Nov. 25-Dec. 31. $39-$204. Citizens Bank Opera House, 539 Washington St.

URBAN NUTCRACKER City Ballet of Boston’s inventive take on the holiday classic is set in downtown Boston and blends breaking, flamenco, hip-hop, ballet, and more. The production celebrated its 20th anniversary last year with backdrops that feature local landmarks like the State House, the Citgo sign, and a Red Sox scoreboard. Dec. 17-18, 21-23. $29-$118. The Boch Center’s Shubert Theatre, 265 Tremont St.


THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER This fresh rendition of “The Nutcracker” is directed and choreographed by Laurence Olivier Award-nominated choreographer and Amherst native Jennifer Weber. Her show will feature a cast of a dozen high-energy hip-hop performers, digital graffitied visuals, and a short set MC’ed by the legendary ‘80s rapper Kurtis Blow. Dec. 29, 7:30 p.m. $39.50-$59.50. 2 Southbridge St., Worcester.

Seth “REAKTION” Hilliard and Anthony “OMEN” Cabrera in the "The Hip Hop Nutcracker."Courtesy of Cheryl Mann

THE NUTCRACKER FAMILY AFFAIR Cambridge’s José Mateo Ballet Theatre will celebrate the holiday season by performing highlights from “The Nutcracker,” featuring appearances from the Sugar Plum Fairy, snowflakes, mice, and more. Guests will be seated at cocktail tables throughout the Sanctuary Theatre in Harvard Square and be able to enjoy tasty treats, a wine and beer bar, and a Live Holiday Auction. Dec. 15-18. $50. The Sanctuary Theatre, 400 Harvard St., Cambridge.

NEWPORT NUTCRACKER For an extra dash of glamour, check out this interactive Nutcracker performance that will walk guests through the famed Rosecliff mansion (some unassigned seats will be available). Come for the Island Moving Company’s performances and stay for the chance to explore the historic building where scenes from “The Great Gatsby,” “27 Dresses,” and other films were shot. Nov. 23, 25-27; Nov. 29-Dec. 2. $135-$225. Rosecliff Mansion, 548 Bellevue Ave., Newport, R.I.


Dancers perform in the "Newport Nutcracker" at Rosecliff in Newport, R.I.Island Moving Company

THE SLUTCRACKER This adults-only Nutcracker parody was created at the Somerville Theatre in 2008 and combines ballet with burlesque in a show that celebrates body diversity, sexual freedom, and glitter. Join a grown-up Clara as she ventures into the Kingdom of Sexual Sweets and is greeted by hula hoopers, belly dancers, pole dancers, and more. Dec. 2-31. $35. Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Sq., Somerville.

FESTIVAL BALLET PROVIDENCE’S THE NUTCRACKER After creating a new production of “The Nutcracker” last year, former Boston Ballet principal dancer Yury Yanowsky, now artistic curator at Festival Ballet Providence, brings back his contemporary, elegant version of the classic ballet. Look out for a 38-foot Christmas tree, magic tricks, and elaborate costume headpieces on key characters like the Mouse King. Dec. 16-24. $30-100. Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence.

’TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE ... Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever Christmas show premieres in Boston this season, bringing awe-inspiring acrobatics to the Boch Center for a three-week residency. The show blends fantastic circus acts and performances from the hip-hop Kinjaz dance crew with the story of Isabella, a young girl re-discovering the magic of Christmas. Nov. 25-Dec. 11. $35-$389. The Boch Center’s Wang Theatre, 270 Tremont St.


An aerial act from "'Twas the Night Before..." set to lines from "A Visit from St. Nicholas" that read: "As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky."Brandon Todd/MSG Entertainment

A HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR The pre-professional BoSoma Youth Company’s winter show features Christmas dances set to holiday classics like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “The Nutcracker” in styles ranging from classical ballet to hip-hop. Dec. 3-4. $25-$35. Shore Country Day School, 545 Cabot St., Beverly.

DISNEY ON ICE’S FIND YOUR HERO Watch fairytale icons like Elsa, Ariel, Rapunzel, and Moana glide across the Agganis Arena in this glittery wintery show spotlighting some of children’s favorite Disney characters. Dec. 22, 2022-Jan. 2, 2023. $15-$130. Agganis Arena, 925 Commonwealth Ave.

Joy Ashford can be reached at Follow them on Twitter @joy_ashford.