The Hip Hop Nutcracker re-imagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip hop choreography. It’s a holiday mash-up for the whole family, taking the traditional story and turning it into a modern telling, where ballet is replaced with hip hop and break dancing.
Although the story line is similar, names and scenes have been changed to fit the urban style that The Hip Hop Nutcracker gives off. Instead of the traditional 1800’s style clothing worn in The Nutcracker, the dancers in The Hip Hop Nutcracker wear hip hop dance style street clothing. And instead of the traditional mansion setting we are so accustomed to in The Nutcracker, they take us to the streets and clubs of NYC.
In The Hip Hop Nutcracker, through the spells cast by the mysterious Drosselmeyer, Maria-Clara and her prince, Myron, travel back in time to the moment when her parents first meet in a nightclub to try and remind them why they fell in love. Digital scenery transforms E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story of a palace of sugarplums into a romance set in 1980s Brooklyn. The dance work celebrates love, community and the magic of New Year’s Eve.
While The Hip Hop Nutcracker keeps Tchaikovsky’s score in the show as a part of their choreography, they do spice it up and every so often have a few original pieces to add from their live violinist. Bridging the gap between classical music and hip hop is no easy feat and this show does that flawlessly.
Whether this alternative version has piqued your curiosity or you prefer to remain a creature of habit and stick to the original, the creativity and effort put in to this production’s music, dance and sense of community is worth the praise it has been receiving. There is so much heart and soul in this show it is definitely worth seeing.