There's more than one way to enjoy this classic Christmas tale.
1. Catch a show while crossing names off your shopping list on Robson Street. On December 10, the Robson Street Business Association and My Loud Speaker present Winter's Dance, a 15-minute modern rendition of The Nutcracker projected onto six big screens that run down the middle of the street. The mini-show, choreographed by local dance company Small Stage, will be performed repeatedly throughout the evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. To keep shoppers toasty, Blenz will be handing out hot chocolate and most retailers will be offering in-store promotions.
For Dance Lovers:
2. Looking to start a holiday tradition? This could be it. For the eighth year in a row, Goh Ballet will be performing its traditional version of The Nutcracker. This year, in the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier Prince are principal dancers from the National Ballet of Canada, Jurgita Dronina and Guillaume Côté. Joining the ballet on stage will be members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, as well as guest performances by the Ukrainian Shumka Dancers. The show runs from December 15 to 20 at The Centre. 3. If you want some more ballet action, Royal Winnipeg Ballet's Nutcracker is being presented by Ballet BC at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from December 8 to 11. What's special about Royal Winnipeg's version is not just the technical prowess that is showcased, but also its distinct Canadian feel (think ballet scenes featuring hockey games on snow covered ponds and a battle on Parliament Hill). 4. Shake things up from the traditional ballet experience with Arts Umbrella Dance Company's Mixed Nuts. More than 80 dancers will be performing in this show featuring dance styles ranging from ballet, to hip-hop, to ballroom. For the show's tenth anniversary, audience members will be treated to old favourites as well as new numbers choreographed by members of Ballet BC and Kidd Pivot. Catch the show at the Vancouver Playhouse from December 16 to 18.
For Music Aficionados:
5. Treat your earbuds to this musical collaboration between the Vancouver Pops Symphony and the 45th Ave Jazz Band. The Nutcracker Suite, showcases both classical and jazz versions of Tchaikovsky's iconic music. Dr. Jonathan Girard will conduct the orchestra, while the big band's arrangement by the legendary Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn will be lead by Jaelem Bhate. The show takes place December 11 at The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.
For Young Skaters:
6. Bring your kids for some family skating fun at The Nutcracker On Ice show. On December 17, the Vancouver Skating Club's junior to senior skaters will perform in their fifth annual Christmas show at the Karen Magnussen Arena. Audience members are invited to come on the ice after the show to skate with Santa (rentals are free!).