In step with the season

This may be the last time you’ll see this costume at the Boston Ballet’s version of “The Nutcracker.”

December

Raks Nativity
Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Cambridge Family
YMCA Theatre
820 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
$10-$12, 888-771-0809
www.raksnativity.bellydancernepenthe.com
The Ahlam Selene Dance Company presents a different spin on the standard Christmas story, illustrating its scenes with Middle Eastern dance and music from locales as far-flung as Egypt and Moorish Spain. The performance benefits Cradles to Crayons, a charity that helps provide needy children 12 and under with basic necessities.

‘Urban Nutcracker’
Dec. 3-18
Wheelock Family Theatre
200 The Riverway, Boston
$25-$50, 617-879-2300
www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org
Same old “Nutcracker” giving you the doldrums year after year? Dig this: BalletRox, along with more than 50 local children, will perform Anthony Williams’ interpretation of the quintessential Christmas ballet, which is set in contemporary Boston instead of 19th century Europe, injecting Tchaikovsky’s stodgy old work with some much needed livening-up via swing, hip-hop and tap — including a little Duke Ellington.  

Christmas Reflections
Dec. 16-18
Robsham Theatre
at Boston College
140 Comm. Ave., Chestnut Hill
$15, 617-552-4002
www.bc.edu
This is a mix of a Christmas-themed story, music and dance choreographed by Robert VerEecke, BC’s Jesuit artist-in-residence, with Irish step dances performed by the O’Dwyer School of Irish Dancing. VerEecke is known locally for his much-loved piece “A Dancer’s Christmas,” which he retired in 2008. Some of the pieces at this show originated in that work, while others are brand new.

‘The Nutcracker’
Nov. 25 to Dec. 31
Boston Opera House
539 Washington St.
$40-$169, 617-695-6955
www.bostonballet.org
The Boston Ballet’s annual performance of Tchaikovsky’s immortal ballet pretty much sells itself, but we should mention that this year is the last time you’ll get to see this particular version of the work — its costumes and sets will be retired afterward, and artistic director Mikko Nissinen is going to spruce up his choreography for next year.

February

Inbal Pinto and Avshalom
Pollack Dance Company
Feb. 3 & 4
Paramount Theatre
559 Washington St., Boston
$50-$60, 617-482-6661
www.celebrityseries.org
The dormant dance calendar of January is broken by this Israeli group, which will perform a piece called “Oyster” with weird, mime-faced dancers in tattered tuxedos, delightfully manic circus music, girls being flung around on harnesses and choreography that frequently seems to have originated in Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks. Full of humor and dark weirdness, it’ll be a colorful treat for mid-winter’s gray coldness.

‘X Dance 2012’
Feb. 9-12
Green Theatre
10 Boylston Pl., sixth floor, Boston
$12, 617-824-8000
www.emerson.edu
This concert is a showcase for Emerson’s dance department, featuring works choreographed and performed entirely by Emerson students. The choreogra-phers are Tyler Catanella, Wynn Harrison, Ashley Maietta, Janet Mullen and Kameron Tarlow. Any of them might get famous, so you should catch them before they inevitably move to New York after graduation to make it big.

‘Simply Sublime’
Feb. 9-19
Boston Opera House
539 Washington St., Boston
$25-$132, 617-695-6955
www.bostonballet.org
The Boston Ballet performs a well-rounded evening of top-shelf dance, with the world premiere of Florence Cler’s “Les Sylphides,” a one-act ro-mantic ballet set to Chopin; Christopher Wheeldon’s “Polyphonia,” a work for four cou-ples set to Ligeti; and George Balanchine’s “Symphony in Three Movements,” a large ensemble work set to Stravinsky.

‘Circa’
Feb. 29 to March 4
Paramount Center
559 Washington St., Boston
$50-$60, 617-824-8400
www.artsemerson.org
This acrobatic troupe from Australia foregoes the use of props like trapeze, vaults or rings. There is a piece involving a couple ropes, but otherwise it’s just human bodies performing spectacular feats of circus wonderment. There’s definitely an artsy flavor to their routines, often making it close to contemporary dance. Call it interpretive circus!



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.