Violence-free ‘Nutcracker’

Continental Ballet Company in Bloomington nixes the battle scene for its production of the Nutcracker Ballet. Instead, the rats in this play are friendly in a violence-free holiday spectacle. Besides that, this is a classical take on the timeless story with an emphasis on beauty and kindness. Founder and director Riet Velthuisen, whose training and professional career began in Europe, choreographed the work, which features dancers from all corners of the world, including Brazil, Venezuela, Japan, Texas and the Twin Cities. (7:30 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., through Dec. 8, Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, $25 adults, $19 seniors, $13 children, 952-563-8562,

Funky Ebenezer

Twin Cities tapper Ricci Milan and his group Rhythm Street Movement sold out the lab for the inaugural performance of “Who Brought the Humbug?” — a show that mixes mystery, dance prowess and holiday cheer with a mashup of tap, funk and theatrical hijinks. They’re back, this time at the Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts. “Who Brought the Humbug?,” a play on Ebenezer Scrooge’s famous exclamation, features Milan and his crew reinventing what it means to discover hope via a mystery plot, wild twists and turns, and some explosive dancing. Guest artists join the show each night. (7:30 Thu.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., through Dec. 15, the Cowles, 528 Hennepin Av. S., $25-$45, 612-206-3600,

Dinner and dancing

Zorongo Flamenco heads to the intimate setting of Icehouse Minneapolis for “Ay Qué Calor (So Hot!),” an evening of solo dances choreographed by Susana di Palma with live music performed by Juanito Pascual and Ben Abrahamson, and singing by La Conja. While Zorongo is known for its large, theatrical productions, this show’s focus is on the artistry of the dancers and the musicians, offering audiences an up-close view of their technique over dinner and cocktails. (6 p.m. Sun., Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., $20 advance, $22 door, 612-276-6523,

Sheila Regan