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Performances & Events
Pacific Northwest Ballet It's hard to think of a more exuberant way to celebrate the holiday season than attending PNB's Nutcracker. The production is simply magic. Of course, the dancers would hardly need to move for the production to be a success, so blessed is the ballet company in having Maurice Sendak's intricate, colorful, and whimsical sets. Snow falls on a winter wonderland, Clara and the prince sail to a magical kingdom amid dolphins jumping through undulating waters, and huge dangling lanterns complete an Oriental kingdom where some of the liveliest dances take place. But PNB's dancers do move, and with grace and verve. In the performance I attended, Carla Korbes performs the peacock dance as if she were the animal herself, her lithe and shimmying body framed by a set that has turned an iridescent, dusky blue. It is a transfixing moment. Offstage, the people watching can't be beat, as everyone from 5 to 75 dresses up in a way seldom seen in this casual town. [Conductor Stewart Kershaw tells me that as of Dec. 13, he has conducted 546 Nutcrackers for PNB, since 1983. –Ed.] McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 441-2424, www.pnb.org. $18-$108. 2 & 7:30 p.m. Wed. Dec. 27-Thurs. Dec. 28. Ends Thurs. Dec. 28. NINA SHAPIRO
Emerald City Contra Dance Participatory dance (all dances taught, no partner necessary) to the strains of Grey Owl (Phil Katz on melodeon, Miche Baker-Harvey on fiddle, Jay Finkelstein on guitar). Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., 440-9839, seattledance.org. $4-$7. Beginners at 7 p.m., dance at 7:30 p.m. Fri. Dec. 29.
Salute to Vienna SEE THE WIRE, FRIDAY.
Gypsie Nation "Freestyle participatory rituals intended to bring healing, as well as honor the ancestral spirits and the Earth. Supported by a wild tapestry of ancient and modern tribal music." Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center, 6535 Ravenna Ave. N.E., 216-1722, www.gypsienation.com. $9 (under 13 free). 11 a.m. Sun. Dec. 31.