The season's best Dance events
Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak: Sharks Before Drowning Catch a new iteration of the company’s knee-bucklingly stunning Stamina of Curiosity, possibly pollinated by Shanahan’s intriguing new research. Northwestern University, Marjorie Ward Marshall Dance Center, 10 Arts Circle Dr, Evanston (847-491-3147). Dec 2–5 at 8pm. $10–$20.
Muntu Dance Theatre presents “Dancing in the Spirit” Muntu caps a banner year with the world premiere of Gye Nyame by Ronald K. Brown, artistic director of Brooklyn’s Evidence, A Dance Company. Gary Comer Youth Center, 7200 S Ingleside Ave (773-358-4100). Dec 2 at 7:30pm; Dec 3, 4 at 8pm; Dec 5 at 3pm. $8–$27.50.
Dance Union: Simply Showing Ayako Kato’s curatorial instincts are on a roll with this vital monthly series; see a quartet of new work by her choice of emerging local choreographers. Menomonee Club, Fasseas White Box Theater, 1535 N Dayton Ave (312-664-4631). Dec 4 at 8pm. $12, students and seniors $10.
DanceBridge: Carrie Hanson and Ginger Krebs Get minimal. The pairing of Hanson’s dancerly, stripped-down seriousness with Krebs’s raw, Butoh-inflected movement art is both brilliant and unprecedented. Chicago Cultural Center, Dance Studio, 78 E Washington St (312-744-6630). Dec 9 at 6pm. FREE.
Chicago Tap Theatre presents “Tidings of Tap!” Who knew holiday-themed tap numbers dusted with humor and dance-theater wouldn’t be a colossal disaster? Mark Yonally’s big-hearted, religiously equal-opportunity revue is back for another go-around. UIC Theatre, 1044 W Harrison St (800-838-3006). Dec 10, 11 at 8pm; Dec 12 at 3pm. $30, seniors $23, students $18.
Joffrey Ballet presents The Nutcracker Pleasingly neat, with no ill-conceived resetting or shoehorned-in topical characters, Robert Joffrey’s 1987 staging is the timeless chestnut as it should be. Auditorium Theatre, 50 E Congress Pkwy (800-982-2787). Dec 10–26 at 2, 7pm. $30–$115.
Civic Ballet of Chicago presents The Nutcracker Ruth Page’s version of Clara Stahlbaum’s adventure, which dates to the mid-1960s, plays dual suburban locations. Elgin Community College, Blizzard Theater, 1700 Spartan Dr, Elgin (847-622-0300). Dec 11 at 1, 5pm; Dec 12 at 3pm. James Lumber Center, 19351 W Washington St, Grayslake (847-543-2300). Dec 18 at 1, 5pm; Dec 19 at 3pm. $15–$27.
Ballet Chicago presents The Nutcracker The city’s only Balanchine-styled institution has tapped Elly Green of the Royal Danish Ballet and Ted Seymour of the Suzanne Farrell Ballet to guest star in its Lakeview production. Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N Southport Ave (773-935-6860). Dec 17 at 7pm; Dec 18 at 2, 7pm; Dec 19 at 3pm. $12–$30.
Corpo Dance Company: Coppelius Christopher McCray applies coal-and-steam, Industrial Revolution aesthetics to his new work, a prequel to 1870 French ballet Coppélia, about a batty inventor tricked by a plucky heroine. Links Hall, 3435 N Sheffield Ave (773-281-0824). Dec 17, 18 at 8pm; Dec 19 at 7pm. $18, students and seniors $12.
Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet presents The Nutcracker Kenneth von Heidecke’s Naperville school partners with Kirk Muspratt’s New Philharmonic for a mellifluous Glen Ellyn Nut. McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd, Glen Ellyn (630-942-4000). Dec 17 at 7pm; Dec 18 at 2, 7pm; Dec 19 at 2pm. $27–$37.
JASC Tsukasa Taiko: Taiko Legacy 7 The Chicago-born, family-friendly fave counters the season’s tendency toward tinkling tones with thunderously thumping beats from Korea and Japan. Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E Chicago Ave (312-397-4010). Dec 18 at 7:30pm; Dec 19 at 3pm. $15, students $10, kids 12 and under free.