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Crack Your Nuts with Holiday Dance

A season of sugarplum fairies, Narnia adventures, dancing Dickens and more
Kendra Dickey as the Sugar Plum Fairy. </b>Photo by Jamie Donner of JD Elegance Photography.

It’s the holiday season, and all across town, stages start to sparkle with gyrating gumdrops, spinning snowflakes and leaping lions. So grab a hot cocoa in the lobby and settle in for a nice break from your to-do list as you take in some of this shimmery season of dance.

This is the biggest time of year for dance recitals for local studios, and these hard-working young dancers are gearing up to strut their stuff.

Catch Oregon Ballet Academy’s Snow White and the Seven Dancing Dwarfs at 2 pm and 7 pm Saturday, Nov. 28, and 2 pm and 6 pm Sunday, Nov. 29, in the Ragozzino Performance Hall at Lane Community College; $15. 

All That! Dance Company offers its Nutcracker Remixed 7 pm Saturday, Nov. 28, at the Hult Center. The show features “upbeat music, energetic dancing and magical surprises on stage,” says choreographer Sarah Beth Byrum; $22-$33.  

The Eugene Youth Ballet offers many public performances of its captivating Nutcracker. Find them at 5:30 pm Friday, Nov. 20, at Light Up Downtown; 7 pm Monday, Nov. 30, at the UO Global Scholars Hall; 4 pm Thursday, Dec. 3, in the Springfield Public Library; 10:15 am Friday, Dec. 4, at the Sheldon Branch of the Eugene Public Library; 2:45 pm Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Waldorf School; 4 pm and 5 pm Wednesday, Dec. 9, at the Eugene Public Library downtown; 7:30 pm Thursday, Dec. 10, at Elmira High School; and 10:15 am Friday, Dec. 11, at the Bethel Branch of the Eugene Public Library; all shows are free. Whew! That’s a lot of marzipan. 

And Hosanna Dance presents its Adventures in Narnia, inspired by C.S. Lewis’ beloved novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, at 1 pm and 6 pm Saturday, Dec. 12, and 4 pm Sunday, Dec. 13, in LCC’s Ragozzino Performance Hall. 

On the professional front, Ballet Fantastique reprises its popular An American Christmas Carol, a jazzy twist on the classic tale of redemption. Choreographers Donna and Hannah Bontrager re-imagine Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge in iconic post-WWII America, with their signature “retro-glam original choreography set to the velvet voice of international jazz singer — and local sweetheart — Halie Loren,” says Katey Finley of Ballet Fantastique. Catch the show at the Hult Center, 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday, Dec. 11-12, with a 2:30 pm matinee Dec. 13; $28-$58.

And finally, for some of us, it just doesn’t feel like the holidays without the complete-and-unabridged Nutcracker, and Eugene Ballet Company’s perennial favorite never disappoints. (Magic! Mice! A giant Gingerbread lady with children who live under her skirts! What’s not to love?) Tchaikovsky’s indelible score, played live by Brian McWhorter’s Orchestra Next and sung by the Festival Singers, with lovingly-rendered choreography by EBC’s Toni Pimble, makes this a holiday tradition for many.

Nutcracker is a great way to celebrate the holiday season,” Pimble says. “Christmas isn’t the season without Nutcracker — it’s a great way to introduce young children to classical ballet.”

Catch Clara, Fritz, the Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy herself on 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18-19, and 2 pm Sunday, Dec. 20, at the Hult Center; $15-$53.