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Peter Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet The Nutcracker is a timeless Christmas masterpiece that has been an endearing tradition for generations. While there is no replacement for this nostalgic theater performance, The Hip Hop Nutcracker provides an alternate interpretation by an equally talented understudy.

Similar to the original, this performance opens with a cast of characters at a party. Dance battles at the party ensue, showcasing popular dance movements ranging from the Carlton to Breaking to Popping. Director and choreographer Jennifer Weber even sneaks in the Floss and the Shoot Dance, both made hip by the popular Fortnite video game.

Maria-Clara, bothered by her parent’s constant arguing, turns her attention to the eccentric Drosselmeyer, who entertains her with his enchanting toy magic. He introduces Maria-Clara to the Nutcracker, a street vendor selling nuts. Together they battle a mouse gang, travel back in time to the Land of Sweets nightclub, and ultimately help Maria-Clara’s parents reconcile their relationship.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker is more than a beautiful performance. It is a cultural tribute to a music and dance style that has often been dismissed or overlooked. The production tastefully highlights the fashion, culture, and music originating from the New York Hip Hop Movement. It also honors legendary hip hop icon and guest MC Kurtis Blow as he sets the stage for the performance.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a reminder to appreciate the talent God has given all of us. The genius of the show’s profound beauty is displayed as the dancers bring to life Tchaikovsky’s score. This production stands on its own. Knowing the original performance only enhances the magnificence of this modern-day rendition. The international ensemble of dancers invites the audience to pause on a cultural bridge that marries appreciation for the art of dance with the poetic instrumentation of classical music.

I highly recommend that you make The Hip Hop Nutcracker a part of your family holiday festivities when it makes a stop near you during this Christmas season.

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