|The world famous snow scene from Pacific Northwest Ballet’s
Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker. Photo © Angela Sterling
Tis the season…for dance! Dancers and presenters around town are all getting into the holiday spirit with a huge variety of holiday themed shows. There’s something out there for everyone from the biggest Grinch to the most excitable little bon bon. To help decide which show—or if you’re feeling extra festive, shows—to see this season, we’ve compiled this handy holiday dance guide.
December 623, The Moore Theater
Now in its third year as a
Seattle holiday tradition, this gospel play written by American poet and novelist Langston Hughes features powerful vocal and dance performances. Pastor Patrinell Wright and the Black Nativity choir provide the soulful songs while Jamel Gaines of Creative Outlet Dance Theater in Brooklyn provides the choreography. A spirited and inspiring show, the performance will also feature special guest gospel and R&B star BeBe Winans for performances on December 2123. Black Nativity plays for the next three weeks at a variety of times. For further information about show times and to purchase tickets, click here.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
December 89, Shorecrest Performing
Now in its sixteenth year, Dance Fremont’s production is another stirring holiday tradition based on the tender Hans Christian Andersen tale. It features live music, locally designed sets and costumes, and choreography by Dance Fremont director Vivian Little. This year’s lead roles will be danced by Iyun Harrison, director of Ashani Dances, and Dance Fremont ballerina Clare Bawden. Tickets are available here.
|Una Ludviksen and Iyun Ashani Harrison
Photo by Colleen Dishy
December 28-30, Meydenbauer Theater
Bellevuebrings together opera and ballet in their production of Handel’s Messiah. Choreographed by Bellevuenative, and Idaho Dance Theater company member, Sayoko Knode, the program uses contemporary ballet to tell the story of the Messiah. Accompanied by live musicians and singers and conducted by Dr. Linda Gingrich, this may well become a new holiday tradition for local singers and dancers alike. Tickets are available here.
Homo for the Holidays
December 1424, West Hall in the
A quirky, queer, and undeniably festive mix of burlesque, cabaret, dance, drag, and music, Homo for the Holidays is less Christmas in July, more Pride in December. Created by DeLouRue Presents (the team of Ben DeLaCreme, Kitten LaRue, and Lou Henry Hoover), the show turns the holiday tradition on its head with irreverent hilarity. Tickets can be purchased here.
And of course: The Nutcracker
December 729, McCaw Hall
The largest Nut in town is surely Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Stowell and Sendak rendition. A definite departure from the traditional Nutcracker story, PNB’s production is made unique by Sendak’s whimsical sets and costumes, and a slightly modified story-line. Performances run through the end of December, including a Christmas Eve performance dubbed the Nutty Nutcracker, where extra gags and frivolity abound. Tickets range from $35–135 and can be purchased at www.pnb.org.
ARC Nutcracker Sweets
December 715, ARC Dance Space and the Leo K Theater
This production is designed specifically with the little ones in mind. Only an hour and half long, it features ARC Dance students in an abbreviated version of the Nutcracker story. Tickets range from $20–30 and are available here.
December 89, Northshore Performing
One of the few productions with live music, this Nutcracker is accompanied by the Rainier Symphony Ballet Orchestra. Along with the students of Emerald City Ballet, it also will be bringing in American Ballet Theater soloists Sascha Radetsky and Maria Riccetto. Tickets are available here.
A delightful production by the student company of Evergreen City Ballet, this is another rendition the whole family can enjoy. A period-based production, it includes a beautifully costumed party scene, the traditional Madame Bon Bon, and even mice that escape into the audience. Tickets range from $13–35 and can be purchased here.
|International Ballet Theater’s Nutcracker
Photo by Rex Tranter
International Ballet Theater
December 1423, Meydenbauer Theater,
The closest you’ll get to the original Russian production from 1892, International Ballet Theater’s Nutcracker features lush sets and costumes from
Ukraineas well as choreography in the traditional Russian style by director Vera Altunina. Filled with pageantry, it showcases an exotic Arabian butterfly, a fierce battle scene, and a dainty young Clara and her dashing prince. With several guest principal artists the ranks are filled out by IBT’s professional division students and children. Tickets range from $25–50 and can be purchased here.
Olympic Ballet Theater
Arlington, Edmonds, and
Another more traditional production, Olympic Ballet’s rendition features a growing Christmas tree, a booming Cannon, and a flock of Mother Ginger’s buffoons. Tickets can be purchased here.
December 823, Pantages Theater,
Another production with live music, Tacoma City Ballet’s production is accompanied by the Northwest Sinfonietta. A historical piece, it also aligns closely with the original 1892 Russian production with old-world charm and lavish sets and costumes. Tickets range from $19–60 and are available here.
|Miss Indigo Blue as the Countess of Candies in
Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker
Photo by Chris Blakeley
Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker
December 1127, The Triple Door
If the ballet version of the Nutcracker is just too sweet for you, the Burlesque Nutcracker will add some spice to your season. Now in its sixth year, this spectacle of ecdysiastic pageantry created by Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann dazzles, sizzles, and entertains. With performances like Waxie Moon’s nefarious Rat King, Verlaine’s steamy Countess of Coffee, and Kitten La Rue’s vibrant Hot Chocolate, the show mixes singing, acrobatics, and clever bawdiness. See a review of last year’s production here and purchase tickets (ranging from $28–35) here.