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Alternative dance:  'Urban Nutcracker'  'A Dancer's Christmas'  Search local events

Twists on tradition

Holiday dance offerings from BalletRox and the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble
By Karen Campbell, Globe Correspondent
Twists on tradition
Performers from "Urban Nutcracker" (left) and "A Dancer's Christmas." (Globe Staff Photo / Dina Rudick)

It's that time of year when sugarplum fairies fill Boston's theaters and dance studios, as performances of the ubiquitous "Nutcracker" usher in the holidays.

But there's more to holiday-season dance than toy soldiers and twirling mice. Two other local productions, poles apart in focus and attitude, are creating distinct holiday traditions. BalletRox's "Urban Nutcracker," now in its fourth year, brings a hip-hop sensibility to the classic, while "A Dancer's Christmas," by the Boston Liturgical Dance Ensemble, is a more overtly spiritual expression of the season that has been performed for nearly a quarter of a century.

Besides providing fresh alternatives to the traditional "Nutcracker," the two productions also share a sense of community spirit that touches on the true meaning of Christmas.

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