12/4–20 The hip-hop-influenced contemporary company recruited choreographers to create works using three prompts: Alaska, the future, and catastrophe. The result is New Alaska, an evening of world premieres by Kirsten Shelton, Michel Rodriguez Cintra, and in-house dancer-choreographers Kaitlin Webster and Jessica Deahr. $15. Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph.



12/10–13 Hubbard Street’s Winter Series presents a program of works by women choreographers, including the highly anticipated company premiere of Crystal Pite’s Solo Echo, considered to be the Canadian’s signature piece. $30–$99. Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph.



12/4–27 The Nutcracker. Conceived and directed by Robert Joffrey, this much-loved version will be retired after this season to make way for a brand-new work choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. Performed to live musical accompaniment by the Chicago Philharmonic. $32–$136. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy.


12/4–6 at 7 Karen Yates. The local choreographer uses movement, text, and live Javanese gamelan music to explore the history of Indonesia from the beginning of the spice trade through the 2004 tsunami. $20–$45.

12/7 at 7 Peep Show. The monthly pop-up series brings together choreographers and composers to create new dances on the spot. $5.

12/17–20 Mad Shak. Molly Shanahan, a member of this improvisational company, created last year’s Virtuosity of Forgetting by asking three other dancers in her troupe to record their spoken childhood memories. The result was a series of layered, improvised vignettes in which each dancer embodied her recording during one hour of continuous movement. Don’t miss the latest installment in Mad Shak’s series, Tiny Liquid Bones. $15–$25.

12/18–19 Khecari and Blind Tiger Society. Local troupe Khecari teams up with San Francisco company Blind Tiger Society for an evening of contemporary dance, featuring a duet between Tiger Society’s company director, Bianca Cabrera, and ensemble member Rebecca Morris, along with a continuation of Khecari’s ongoing duo improvisation Orders from the Horse. $15–$20. 12/17–18 at Hamlin Park Fieldhouse, 3035 N. Hoyne. 12/19–20 at Links Hall, 3111 N. Belmont.

Tatsu Aoki/Tsuaka Taiko  Photo: Ken Carl


12/19–20 Musicians and dancers from across the country celebrate taiko, a Japanese form of ensemble drumming. Local percussionists Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang are among the musicians slated to perform works choreographed by the local Japanese dance phenom Ayako Kato. $10–$20. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago.