Shira Greenberg’s Nutcracker on the Rocks

About Nutcracker on the Rocks

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

Artistically blending beginners to professionals in creative partnerships and energetic collaborations this 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.

Originating in Albuquerque, NM, and performed there for 20 years, Helena now holds the prestigious honor of being the only location where this innovative production is staged.

A funky twist on a holiday classic

A sihouette of a dancer balancingon one foot with her arms raised in the air. The words "Nutcracker on the Rocks" are written in front of her.

Created by Shira Greenberg, Artistic Director of Keshet Dance Company  in Albuquerque, NM, this unique community based, rock-n-roll rendition of the traditional Nutcracker features the music of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin and more, while taking audiences on thrilling journey through the decades.  One exciting scene after another showcases a unique and energetic fusion of dancers and dance styles, including its particularly inspiring Snow Scene, highlighting creative partnerships and collaborations between dancers of all abilities, including several with disabilities dancing from their wheelchairs or using other forms of assistance.


Open auditions for Nutcracker on the Rocks take place Labor Day week in early September, welcoming beginners to professionals, ages 7-adult, of all abilities. Audition sign-ups begin mid August.  Watch for more details to come!


Premiered in Helena in 2013, this favorite is performed annually over Thanksgiving weekend at the Helena Civic Center.

*2021 Update* 

Due to COVID-19, we will not be performing Shira Greenburg's Nutcracker on the Rock.  we will be back on the stage next year!

The Nutcracker and the Rat Queen from Nutcracker on the Rocks leap with one leg behind them as they face off for their first battle.
A group of long-haired, pattern clad 60's folk reach their hands to the sky in a fading spotlight
Madame Drosselmeier rides on to stage during the party scene on the back of a black Harley Davidson

What are Nutcracker on the Rocks Choreography Classes and why do them? Read the full letter from the Artistic Director Here

NOTR 2020 Update

Dear Cohesion Dance Project Community,

As you have seen over the last several months, we here at Cohesion have been busy adapting our programming to accommodate these uncertain times. Our staff and board of directors have spent a considerable amount of time working on contingency plans and developing innovative ways to continue offering Cohesion’s unique programming for you and the community at large, while keeping within the state and county COVID-19 guidelines.

Many of you have been wondering what will happen this Fall with Cohesion’s programming. After much discussion and deliberation, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 production of Nutcracker on the Rocks at the Civic Center. The safety and health of our dancers, audience, and the Helena community are of utmost importance to us.

In lieu of the live performance we are excited to offer our NEW Nutcracker on the Rocks Choreography Classes during the Fall session! By enrolling in these choreography classes, participants, ages 7-adult, will be able to learn combinations from any scene of their choosing – that’s right you heard it – ANY scene of your choosing! Are you 9 and want to be a Rat? Sign up for the Rats choreography class!  A 45-year-old who wants to dance in 50s? Now’s your chance, sign up for 50s! Have you always wanted to audition but stage fright has held you back? Be a part of the magic from the privacy of your living room! Each scene will be taught at two different levels and will be available in 2-3 week sessions. Sign up for one session or all 10 weeks.  In order to maintain safe social distancing and offer the opportunity for those with vulnerable family members at home, we will be offering these classes, along with our Fall Technique Classes, both in-person AND live online via Zoom!

More details and our Fall schedule will be coming out soon. Registration will begin August 20 and classes will start September 14.

Thank you for your understanding as we take this year to do our part in trying to maintain the safety and health of our community. The full production of Nutcracker on the Rocks will be back before we know it, bigger and better than ever!

Please reach out if you have questions. Wishing you all good health in the coming year as we move through this pandemic together.

Tanya W. Call, Artistic Director
Cohesion Dance Project

Want to find more classes?

Thanks to our Generous 2019 Sponsors

Full Season Sponsors

The Floor Show
Intrepid Credit Union
Lewis and Clark Brewing Company

Scene Sponsors

Big Sky Retirement
Montana Radio Company - Park Avenue Bakery
State Farm - Joe Mitchell
Element L Design - Montana's Credit Unions

Set Sponsors

Sullivan Financial - Mast Laser Dentistry - Beebe & Flowers
MT Implants & Periodontics - Quinn Erwin Dental
Delta Hotels by Marriott - Taylor Luther Group, PLLC
Mosness Wealth Management & Retirement Planning

Cast Sponsors

American Chemet Corporation
Action Print - Ascension Physical Therapy
Associated Dental Care of Helena - Big Sky Chiropractic
Disability Rights of MT - Drake Law Firm - Helena Family Dentistry
Helena Orthodontics - Fit Form - Graveley Ranch - Heller Homes, Inc.
Heuiser Physical Therapy - Imagine Designs - Jeff Swingley-Windermere Real Estate
Nicholson, Inc - Rocky Mountain Title Company - the Pan Handler Plus
Trost Wealth Management - Velley Bank - West Mont


and Grant Funders


Logo for the National Endowment for the Arts Logo for the Montana Arts Council Logo for Arts Ed - Montana Arts Council

Supported in part by a grant from the Montana Arts Council, an agency of the state government, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Logo for Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities This project is funded (in part) under a contact  with the Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities. The representations, if any, contained herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Council. 

Logo for Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation