Jennifer Fisher, associate professor of dance, will speak on "Nutcracker Nation: How an Old-World Ballet Became a New-World Christmas Tradition." Fisher will trace the evolution of "Nutcracker" from its 1892 premiere in St. Petersburg, Russia, to its present-day status as a seasonal staple. 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2. University Club. $11.50-$13.50. RSVP to 949-824-7960.
Former Joffrey ballerina Jodie Gates will direct new dance works by Claire Trevor School of the Arts graduate choreographers. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 3, 4 and 5; 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. Winifred Smith Hall. $9-$13. More: 949-824-2787.
Men in Blaque, the Women's Chamber Choir, the Alumni Choir and the University Chorus will perform holiday songs for the entire family. With Joseph Huszti conducting. 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5; 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6. Student Center, Crystal Cove Auditorium. $7. More: 949-824-4913.
E.O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, will discuss "Evolution and the Future of the Earth." Wilson, an acclaimed biologist, naturalist, theorist and author, has received more than 100 international awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes, the National Medal of Science and the Audubon Medal from the National Audubon Society. 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. Arnold & Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences & Engineering. Free. More: firstname.lastname@example.org or 949-721-2266.