This week's dance events include dance sampling downtown, the last of Jérôme Bel and site specific dance for night owls.

5. L.A. parties like its 1912

L.A.'s most polished and professional Nutcracker rightly belongs to Los Angeles Ballet. Set in 1912 Los Angeles, this Nutcracker is an L.A. original, choreographed by company co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, with set design by L.A. artist Catherine Kanner. Now in its eighth season, L.A.'s own continues to demonstrate how well it understands this city. With home theaters in Glendale, Westwood, Northridge and Redondo Beach, LAB brings ballet to the audience rather than expecting folks to overcome hours of gridlocked traffic. The company dancers are a home team to root for, splendid performers who make the challenging choreography look effortless. Plus, since the company performs throughout the year, the ticket income will be spent on stage here, not taken back to some other city, which is what occurs with touring productions. In full disclosure, your scribe continues to volunteer to observe the ballet from an onstage chimney. Next week the show moves to Valley Performing Arts Center, then UCLA's Royce Hall before concluding at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. Tickets and the full schedule at This week see it at Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale; Sat., Dec. 7, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 8, 2 p.m., $30-$95, $24-$76 seniors, students & children 12 & under, 310-998-7782,

4. What's up, REDCAT?

The fall edition of the quarterly event REDCAT: Studio features choreographer Danille Agami and her Ate9 dANCEcOMPANY in Mouth to Mouth with an original score by composer and cellist Jodie Landau, text by Nadav Heyman, table-top puppetry from Marsian De Lellis, a duet from Jil Stein and a satirical observation of a rich layabout and his valet from Four Clowns. At REDCAT: Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, 631 W. Second St., dwntwn.; Sat., Dec. 7, 8:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 8, 7 p.m., $15, $12 students. 213-237-2800,

See also: 5 Artsy Things to Do in L.A. This Week

3. Site specific off Sepulveda

The evening-long event Music Into the Night includes the L.A. debut of People Get Ready, a Brooklyn-based quartet known for combining performance art and rock music; a site specific dance performance by Jmy James Kidd and The Sunland Dancers; and a set by the band Avi Buffalo. At Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., W.L.A.; Fri., Dec. 6, 8:30 p.m., $15 in advance, $20 day of show or at the door, 310-440-4500

2. Au revoir from Jérôme Bel

The celebrated French dancer/choreographer Jérôme Bel, who has employed nude dancers and disabled dancers, continues with the second of two shows here that involve neither. Still, both performances demonstrate why this Paris-based choreographer draws international attention. After his solo showcase Cédric Andrieux last week, this weekend Bel offers The Show Must Go, his 2001 work for 20 performers, nineteen pop songs and one DJ. At UCLA Freud Playhouse, 245 Charles E Young Drive E., Wstwd.; Through Dec. 6, 8 p.m., $30-$35. Los Angeles, 310-825-2101.

See also: Our Latest Theater Reviews

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company's Urban Nut; Credit: Photo by Kate Hutter

L.A. Contemporary Dance Company's Urban Nut; Credit: Photo by Kate Hutter

1. Cracking an Urban Nut

Artistic director Kate Hutter oversees the L.A. Contemporary Dance Company's Urban Nut, a contemporary riff on the classic Nutcracker. It starts with the selection of an audience member at each performance to participate as a Clara or Clarence who falls asleep at a performance of The Nutcracker, only to be drawn into a dream where the traditional story takes on modern day elements, including a colorful cast of characters and an au courante soundtrack. Only audience members who submit their name on arrival will be recruited, so the shy and performance averse need not worry. LACDC company members Kate Andrews, Christian Beasley, Michael Crotty, Marcello de sa Martens, Galenia Muigai, JM Rodriguez, Paolo Alcedo, Genevieve Carson, Jodie Mashburn, Tess Hewlett, Melissa Schade, Kim Thompson and Hutter perform and also contributed choreography. At Brockus Project Space at The Brewery, 618B Moulton Ave., dwntwn.; Through Dec. 6, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 7, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 8, 7 p.m., $10, 323-227-0307.

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