More Nutcrackers: This time, on the rocks!

Cohesion Dance Project offers rock ’n roll rendition of holiday classic Nov. 24-25

On Stage

Cohesion Dance Project presents Helena’s sixth annual production of Shira Greenberg’s “Nutcracker on the Rocks,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25 at the Helena Civic Center Auditorium.

This community-based, rock ’n roll rendition of the classic holiday tale features music from the likes of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones and Janis Joplin, along with a Harley Davidson that rumbles on stage. One exciting scene after another showcases a unique and energetic fusion of dancers and dance styles as audiences are taken on a journey through the decades, from the Roaring 20s, to a sock hop of the ’50s, and the flower power of the ’60s.

This unusual take on the holiday classic artistically blends beginners to professionals in creative partnerships and energetic collaborations. The powerful performance seamlessly weaves people of all abilities, including those dancing from their wheelchairs, into the fabric of the choreography.

“Exhilarated audiences have experienced heart-warming joy and tears of inspiration upon witnessing the diversity of the cast, the energy leaping out from the stage, and the visions of unlimited possibilities,” says Cohesion artistic director Tanya Call, who danced several lead roles in the original production.

Shira Greenberg’s “Nutcracker on the Rocks” originated in Albuquerque, NM, and was performed there for 20 years; Helena now holds the prestigious honor of being the only location where this innovative production is staged. With a local cast of more than 80 community dancers, ages 7-77, the 2018 performance features local talents Julynn Wilderson and Seely Garret in lead roles alongside visiting guest artists Logan Prichard of Missoula and 2018 Miss Montana Laura Haller as Madame Drosselmeier.

The performance is packed full of excitement from the opening curtain to the final bow.

Ticketing info: Tickets are $15-$25, and available through the Helena Civic Center box office at 406-447-8481 or online at