It's hard to think of a better launch for the annual December onslaught of Nutcracker ballets than Urban Nut, a contemporary riff on the classic from artistic director Kate Hutter and her L.A. Contemporary Dance Company. At each performance, an audience member is chosen to participate as 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 L.A. characters and an au courant soundtrack. (Only audience members who submit their name on arrival will be recruited, so shy dance lovers need not worry.) Company members Melissa Schade, Kim Thompson, Paolo Alcedo, Kate Andrews, Marcelo De Sa Martins, Gakenia Muigai, Michael Crotty, Jodie Mashburn, Tess Hewlett, JM Rodriguez, Genevieve Carson, Christian Beasley and Hutter took on choreography assignments as well as dancing duties for this SoCal original. The Brockus Project Space at the Brewery Arts Complex, 618B Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights; Thurs.-Fri., Dec. 5-6, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 7, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 8, 7 p.m.; $10 advance, $15 at the door.

Dec. 5-6, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 7, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 8, 7 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly