(Courtesy Erik Tomasson)

(Courtesy Erik Tomasson)

It’s that ‘Nutcracker’ time of year

The season brings plentiful takes on the famous ballet with the familiar Tchaikovsky score, and some nice alternatives, too.

Joy! A Holiday Show with Circus, Dance and Live Music: The show created by Tandy Beal features Cirque du Soleil soloists Jeff Raz and Diane Wasnak, contortionists, balancing feats and a cappella group SoVoSó. 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 24-25, 2 p.m. Nov. 26 at Civic Auditorium, 307 Church St., Santa Cruz; 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 2, 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at Hammer Theatre Center, 101 Paseo De San Antonio, San Jose, $10-$45. www.holiday-joy.com.

Pacific Ballet Academy: Under the direction of Marion and Rima Chaeff, PBA dancers perform the school’s 27th annual “Nutcracker, with new, one-hour shows for little ones at noon and 2 p.m. Nov. 24. Full-length performances at 6 p.m. Nov. 24, 1 and 6 p.m. Nov. 25, 12:30 and 4 p.m. Nov. 26, $15-$30. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, www.mvcpa.com.

The Velveteen Rabbit: For the 31st year, ODC/Dance presents its adaptation of the children’s book. A milk-and-cookies party, which requires a separate $15 ticket, follows the Nov. 26 show. Nov. 25-Dec. 10, $15-$75. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, 700 Howard St., S.F., (415) 978-2787, www.odcdance.org/velveteenrabbit.

Peninsula Youth Ballet: Ayako Takahashi directs the troupe in its 20th annual “Nutcracker.” Separate $10 tickets may be purchased for post-performance tea parties. 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 2, 2 p.m. Dec. 3, $15-$45. San Mateo Performing Arts Center, 600 N. Delaware St., San Mateo, www.pyb.org.

Ballet Joyeux: The Walnut Creek-based troupe of youth performers presents “Once Upon a Christmas,” a holiday ballet with Santa, his elves and the toys in his workshop. 11 and 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec.2, $30. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek, www.lesherartscenter.org.

Ballet America Nutcracker: The full-length production for families features dozens of local dancers twirling alongside professionals. 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 2. $24-$49. Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway, Redwood City, www.foxrwc.com.

Western Ballet: The Mountain View-based school’s “Nutcracker” is a tradition for families. 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 1 and 7 p.m. Dec. 2, 1 p.m. Dec. 3, $28-$33. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, www.mvcpa.com.

San Francisco Youth Ballet: Dancers from the youth troupe are joined by dancers across the state in the group’s 17th annual full-length “Nutcracker.” 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 2-3. $24-$26. Mercy High School, 3250 19th Ave., S.F., www.sanfranciscoyouthballet.org.

Presidio Dance Theater: “Sherene Melania’s Beyond the Land of Sweets” includes “Nutcracker” excerpts and dances celebrating winter traditions from across cultures. 3 p.m. Dec. 3, $40-$100. Herbst Theatre,401 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com.

Dancers Repertory Theatre: “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” featuring more 80 dancers ages 5-16, is based on the poem by Clement C. Moore. 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, 3 p.m. Dec. 9, $22. Woodside Performing Arts Center, 199 Churchill Ave., Woodside, www.twasthenight.org.

Smuin: The 2017 edition of “The Christmas Ballet” includes new choreography from Smuin choreographer-in-residence Amy Seiwert and dancers Erica Felsch and Rex Wheeler. Dec. 6-10, $25-$89. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View; also Dec. 14-24 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard St., S.F., www.smuinballet.org.

City Ballet School: The “Nutcracker” production features students performing choreography by Galina Alexandrova, a former dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet. 1 and 6 p.m. Dec. 9, 1 p.m. Dec. 10, $40. Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St., S.F., www.cityboxoffice.com
Dance-Along Nutcracker: This year, the festive participatory event has the theme “Nutcrackers of the Caribbean.” 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 9, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 10, $18-$30. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission St., S.F., www.ybca.org.

Mark Foehringer’s Nutcracker Sweets: The colorful family-oriented 50-minute rendition of the seasonal ballet has a contemporary twist and live chamber music accompaniment. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 9-10 and Dec. 22-23; 11 a.m., 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 16-17, $20-$42.50. Cowell Theater, Fort Mason, Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, S.F., nutcrackersweets.org.

San Francisco Ballet: For more than 70 years, The City’s premier ballet company has staged its lavish production, the longest-running “Nutcracker” in America. Dec. 13-30, $25-$498. War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness Ave., S.F., www.sfballet.org.

The Hard Nut: After a five-year absence, Mark Morris Dance Group returns to the East Bay for its popular homage and campy reinterpretation of “Nutcracker,” with Tchaikovsky’s original score. 8 p.m. Dec 15 and Dec. 22, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 16 and Dec. 23, 3 p.m. Dec. 17 and Dec. 26, $40-$135. Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft Way near Dana Street, UC Berkeley campus, www.calperformances.org.

The San José Nutcracker: New Ballet School stages the classical holiday ballet unique to San Jose, presented in partnership with History San Jose. 7 p.m. Dec. 15 and Dec. 22, 2 p.m. Dec. 16-17 and Dec. 23-24, $20-$91. Hammer Theatre Center, 101 Paseo de San Antonio, San Jose, http://sanjosenutcracker.com/tickets.

Hip Hop Nutcracker: Peninsula Ballet Theatre stages the new twist on the old classic. 7 p.m. Dec. 15, 6 p.m. Dec. 17, $35 and up. Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway, Redwood City, www.peninsulaballet.org.

Bayer Ballet Academy: “The Snow Queen” is an original youth ballet production based on a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. 7 p.m. Dec. 15, 2 p.m. Dec. 16, $38-$53. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, www.mvcpa.com.

Marin Dance Theatre: The school stages “Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop,” a full-length children’s ballet with more than 100 dancers, including guest professionals, and a separately ticketed 3 p.m. “Teddy Bear” tea. 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 16, $32-$40. Veterans Memorial, 10 Avenue of the Flags, San Rafael, tickets.marincenter.org.

Peninsula Ballet Theatre: The troupe performs its 50th “Nutcracker” using Carlos Carvajal’s well-loved choreography. 1 and 4 p.m. Dec. 16, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 17, $35-$60. Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway, Redwood City, www.peninsulaballet.org.

Oakland Ballet Company: The troupe presents artistic director Graham Lustig’s popular interpretation of “Nutcracker,” with music by the Oakland Symphony. 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 23, 1 p.m. Dec. 24, $20-$92. Paramount Theatre, 2025 Broadway, Oakland, www.oaklandballet.org.

Moscow Ballet: The “Great Russian Nutcracker” is on its 25th anniversary tour. 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at Flint Center, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino; 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs, Santa Rosa); 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St.,St., S.F; $70-$90. www.nutcracker.com.

Dream of the Golden Phoenix: New Century Dance presents a new version of “Nutcracker in China” for the year of the Rooster in show fusing Chinese classical dance and ballet. 7:30 p.m., Dec. 23, $20-$30. Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, www.mvcpa.com.
Dance

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