The holiday hit Hip Hop Nutcracker, known for its revolutionary remix of a traditional ballet, celebrates its 10th season this year.
The original New Jersey Performing Arts Center show, which tours nationally, is distinguished by its contemporary hip-hop choreography set to the Nutcracker’s classic score by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It also includes a unique plot that emphasizes the holiday-spirited show’s themes of love, family and community, says director and choreographer Jennifer Weber. The show takes place on Saturday, December 17, at 2 pm (buy tickets on NJPAC’s website).
Top-tier talent will take the stage this season, including New York rapper Kurtis Blow, one of hip-hop’s founding fathers, who has also been dubbed America’s Christmas rapper for his hit song, “Christmas Rappin’” (1979).
“Every year it gets stronger,” says Weber, the founder of Manhattan-based dance company Decadance Theatre. She says the idea to mix the two drastically different genres together came to her after she was asked, ‘How do you make hip-hop vulnerable?’ Her answer? Take away hip-hop music, which has a steady beat, and replace it with classical scores, which have a more unpredictable sound.
“I think the hip-hop movement makes you hear the classical music in a totally new way, and the classical music makes you see the hip-hop choreography in a totally different way,” she says.
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