Seven Great Dance Events to See in Chicago This Month

December’s dance events include Japanese drummers, the return of One Thousand Pieces, and a lot of Nutcrackers.

Taiko musicians   Photo: Dean Lapraire

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

12/12–15 One Thousand Pieces. Back by popular demand, this lyrical ode to artist Marc Chagall’s iconic America Windows is beautiful yet abstract. Set to music by Philip Glass, it debuted in October 2012 just as the resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo was emerging on the scene. $25–$99. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E Randolph. hubbardstreetdance.com

Nutcracker Performances

How do you like your Nutcracker? This December, there’s a flavor for everyone.

12/6–28 The big kahuna: Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker, designed by the company founder Robert Joffrey and full of pomp, festivity, and exquisite technique. $31–$132. Auditorium Theater, 50 E Congress. ticketmaster.com
12/14–15 Craving a version that’s abbreviated and kid-centric? Hyde Park School of Dance packs 150 dancers of all ages (from four to 60-something) into a jubilant 90-minute production. The company’s Sugar Plum Tea, held before the 12/15 performance, is perfect for young dance enthusiasts. Child friendly. $10–$20. Mandel Hall, 1131 E 57th. hydeparkdance.org
Through 12/15 Preprofessional ballet company Salt Creek stages an artistically sound, family-friendly version, far from the Loop madness. The company will make the rounds to three suburban stages: the Hinsdale Central Auditorium (11/30, 12/1; etix.com); the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University (12/7, centertickets.net); and the North Shore Center for Performing Arts in Skokie (12/14–15, saltcreekballet.org).

Taiko Legacy

12/17 A one-night-only screening of the 2012 dance film Escape, about Chinese refugees coming to America, directed by Tatsu Aoki in collaboration with the visionary Asian American choreographer Lenora Lee.
12/21 Chicago-based contemporary Japanese dancer Ayako Kato jumps into the mix with a cadre of ace musicians, including flutist Nicole Mitchell, percussionist Hamid Drake, and Tsukasa Taiko star Eigen Aoki.
12/21–22 A drum circle for the ages: three generations of Taiko (Japanese percussion) drummers, plus butoh master Judy Kajiwara. $10–$18.
Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 E Chicago. mcachicago.org

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