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Critic’s Picks: Holiday dance

Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre’s “The Nutcracker.”Karen Wong

Critic’s Picks: Dance

THE NUTCRACKER After 17 years with the same sets and costumes, Boston Ballet is getting a new "Nutcracker" from its artistic director, Mikko Nissinen, who's moving the action back in time a bit, to the 1820s, and hoping to create a simpler, more natural holiday show. The sets and costumes are by Robert Perdziola. Nov. 23-Dec. 30. $35-$172. Boston Opera House, Boston. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org

THE NUTCRACKER AT ROSE­CLIFF In the first act of this "Nutcracker" from Island Moving Company, the audience members function as party guests, following the action in the Stanford White-designed Rosecliff mansion as it moves from the foyer to the dining room to the battle on the great stairway. After intermission, everyone gathers in the grand ballroom, with the adults seated at tables and the children on pillows, to watch the divertissements. Nov. 23-30. $50-$90. Rosecliff, Newport, R.I. 401-847-4470, www.islandmoving


THE NUTCRACKER One of the special features of José Mateo Ballet Theatre's chamber "Nutcracker" is Mateo himself as Clara's Godpapa Drosselmeier. Tchaikovsky's score is delivered via CD rather than live, but you do get an intimate look at the proceedings. Nov. 24-25, $15-$50, Duxbury Performing Arts Center, Duxbury. Dec. 1-16, $38-$50, Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. Dec. 22-24, $15-$50, Strand Theater, Dorchester. 617-354-7467, www.ballettheatre.org

WINTER PERFORMANCES 2012 The Harvard Dance Program offers a "Nutcracker" respite with new work by New York choreographer John Jasperse, a two-time Bessie Award winner. There will also be original work by Harvard students. Nov. 29-Dec. 1. $5-$10. Harvard Dance Center, Cambridge. 617-496-2222, www.ofa.fas.harvard .edu/boxoffice

NOT! THE NUTCRACKER Jeannette Neill continues her tradition of non-holiday-themed holiday performance with this program of jazz, modern, theater, contemporary, street-funk, and hip-hop works by the faculty at her dance studio, plus a piece choreographed by Stephanie Hilton for Boston Youth Moves. Nov. 30–Dec. 1. $20-$25. Tsai Performance Center, Boston. 617-523-1355, www.jndance.ticketleap.com


URBAN NUTCRACKER Anthony Williams's creation for

BalletRox moves back downtown, with performers from Boston Urban Ballet, Boston Tap Company, Flamenco Dance Project, and Navarasa Dance Theatre. The party guests in the first act are contemporary kids who show off their street moves; the score makes room for Ellington as well as Tchaikovsky. Dec. 8-23. $20-$125. John Hancock Hall, Boston. 888-596-1027, www.backbay eventscenter.com

12 DANCERS DANCING . . . A CHRISTMAS IN CAMBRIDGE Honey Blonder puts together this annual holiday show, which includes Rainbow Tribe, Kelley Donovan, Cambridge Dance Company, Disco Brats, Boston Dance Company, Bside, Sydni Lockeby, Embrace, Brookline Academy of Dance, Contemporarily Out of Order, Dance'n Feet, Shawn Paulling, and Steffani Bennett. Dec. 14-16. $12-$18. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363, www.honeyblonderdance.com

THE SLUTCRACKER Babes in Boinkland's burlesque take on "The Nutcracker" is not for children. Here Fritz is Clara's new bridegroom, and they have to call on their friend Drosselmeier for marital counseling. Tickets are general admission. Dec. 1-31. $25. Somerville Theatre, Somerville. 617-625-5700, www.theslutcracker.com

AN 1836 PORTSMOUTH NUTCRACKER This New Hampshire classic performed by Great Bay Academy of Dance blends local history, period costumes, and dance. It takes us to Strawbery Banke; it also promises "a snowstorm in front of Market Square's North Church, and a dream scene . . . in the Piscataqua River Harbor." Dec. 14-16. $30.50-$41.50. Music Hall, Portsmouth, N.H. 603-436-2400, www.themusichall.org


Disney on Ice celebrates 100 years of Disney characters in this skating show, among them Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio, “and many Disney princesses.” Movie moments will include scenes adapted from “The Lion King,” “Mulan,” “Finding Nemo,” and the “Toy Story” films.


Dec. 27-30. $15-$90. TD Garden, Boston. 800-745-3000, www.ticket

Jeffrey Gantz