Columbia Dance offers its annual presentation Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, “The Nutcracker,” with historical twists that incorporate local history. This one-of-a-kind production will feature beavers fighting fur trappers, dancing wapato plants and Oregon Trail children arriving by covered wagon as local Fort Vancouver history is woven into the plot of a classic ballet.
Audiences will see a holiday party in the Chief Factor’s dining room of 1840’s Fort Vancouver. Party guests include historically accurate characters at the Fort: a family from Scotland, a couple from Hawaii, and a Naval Lieutenant from England. John McLoughlin brings a stranger into their midst, a fur trapper whose tales capture the imagination of young Cecilia Douglas and inspire her dream — beavers stealing a top hat, a mystical woman conjuring an abalone moon, shipwrecked castaways scrambling to reach solid ground and a majestic salmon fighting a river’s current to swim upstream. Columba Dance has been collaborating with historical experts, local tribes and Fort Vancouver staff since 2019 to provide a story steeped in history.
Performances are at Skyview Concert Hall, 1300 N.W. 139th St., Vancouver, at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 17 and 18. A sensory-friendly performance will be offered at 6 p.m. Dec. 16. Performances are also available to view via livestream. Lean more at and buy tickets at columbiadance.org/vancouver-nutcracker/. Tickets for all in-person performances are $23 or $18 for kids and seniors. Livestream tickets are $30.