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Three dance alternatives to the Nutcracker

Tere O'Connor, Bleed
Photograph: Paula Court Tere O'Connor, Bleed

Had enough Nutcrackers to last a lifetime of Decembers? While it's true that at this time of year, options are limited—the popular holiday classic, any version it seems, is a cash cow for companies—we've unearthed three exceptional dance alternatives.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is at the Joyce Theater all month presenting two programs in which male dancers perform en travesti; formed in 1974, the group offers its entertaining view of classical ballet. But don't let the jokes fool you: These guys can dance.

For more intimate fare, head downtown to see Tere O'Connor's BLEED, which graces Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery in an encore engagement. In the piece, the culmination of a two-year project in which the choreographer created three other works and then collapsed them into one, O'Connor shows how dances can shift, change and become something else. (Plus, you can tell your parents that you went to church.) Read more about it in our interview with O'Connor.

And finally, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, in residence at New York City Center, continues its annual season with new works and classics, like Ailey's 1960 masterpiece Revelations. It would put the spirit back into any Scrooge.

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