Chiller Queen

Christmas songs, holidays specials and Frances Smith Cohen's Snow Queen -- a balletic retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev -- remind us that the yuletide is a time for setting aside our darkly distorted worldview and donning rosier glasses.

Decked with the holiday trimmings of snow, gifts and reindeer, Andersen’s fable exalts virtue and love as potent antidotes to the bitterness and ennui that creep, frostlike, over the human heart. The Center Dance Ensemble explores the fanciful mise-en-scène through modern dance, a style suited to Prokofiev’s own musical modernism, setting Snow Queen apart from Tchaikovsky’s Romantic Nutcracker.

Sat., Dec. 4, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 5, 2 & 5 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 11, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 12, 2 & 5 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 18, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 19, 2 & 5 p.m., 2010
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Nicholas Gerbis