For most teachers, owners and students, the holiday season means listening to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker suite on repeat, until heads explode. And while there's a definite thrill to hearing the opening notes of that overture, sometimes you need to get out of Nut-land and recharge your holiday spirit. Why not see a dance performance this December that'll shake things up for you? (Or just own your bottomless love for all things Nutcracker and see THAT.) Here are three ideas:



Photo by Steven Gunther


If you want a flash mob experience Then check out the CalArts dance department on Friday and Saturday, December 15 and 16, at 8 pm on the steps and sidewalk surrounding the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. They'll present a massive ensemble performance (all 70 dance majors are in it!), HHUMAAN—a 12-minute piece demonstrating how movement can bring urban, public spaces to life. It's all in honor of their upcoming winter dance concert, happening right after on both nights.

Photo courtesy of DIW

If you want an interdisciplinary cultural experience Through powerful dance, poetry and music, the Dance Institute of Washington'sThe Spirit of Kwanzaa illustrates experiences of the African diaspora and celebrates the traditions, struggles and creative innovations of diverse peoples of African heritage—from those of the continent of Africa to citizens of the Americas. See it December 15–17 at THEARC Theater in Washington, DC.

Photo courtesy of Frank Ohman School of Ballet

If you want a classical Nutcracker experience With two New York City Ballet principals (Daniel Ulbricht and Brittany Pollack) guest starring and more than 80 children, semi-professional and professional dancers performing, Frank Ohman and New York Dance Theatre's Nutcracker in Commack, New York, has become a beloved Long Island tradition. It's happening twice a day on December 16 and 17 at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse in Hempstead, New York.

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