The Hip Hop Nutcracker comes to TPAC

Scene from the Hip-Hop Nutcracker

Scene from the The Hip-Hop Nutcracker.

This year, TPAC will be offering a different spin on the classic holiday tale of the Nutcracker.

Just in time for the holidays, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary twist on the timeless Tchaikovsky classic tale, comes to James K. Polk Theater at TPAC for two shows on Friday, November 25, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker is directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, artistic director of the all-female hip-hop crew Decadancetheatre in Brooklyn. It is adapted to today’s New York by Mike Fitelson, executive director of United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA) – the work’s original producer – and includes hip-hop interludes remixed and reimagined by DJ Boo and an on-stage electric violinist.

Special guest MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop’s founding fathers, will open the show with a short set before rapping the introduction to The Hip Hop Nutcracker.

MAYBE THIS ONEDirected and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a full-length production performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ, and a violinist. Through the spells cast by the mysterious Drosselmeyer, Maria-Clara and her Nutcracker prince travel back in time to the moment when her parents first meet in a nightclub. Digital scenery transforms E.T.A. Hoffmann’s beloved story set to the streets of New York. The dance work celebrates love, community and the magic of New Year’s Eve.

“Three years ago, the world premiere of The Hip Hop Nutcracker was a unique holiday event that united hip-hop fans, families, and classical music and dance audiences – so many different people in our community – under one roof. This Nutcracker’s dance crew, along with rap legend Kurtis Blow, simply electrified our theater,” said David Rodriguez, NJPAC’s executive vice president and executive producer. “We are excited to share this new classic with audiences across the country.”

“Elle Magazine” calls The Hip Hop Nutcracker “a truly one-of-a-kind experience, filled with high-powered choreography and a very modern storyline,” while CBS-TV raved, “The Hip Hop Nutcracker turns Tchaikovsky on his head, in the coolest possible way.”

Kurtis Blow, a hip-hop legend, was 20 in 1979 when he became the first rapper to be signed by a major label.

Mercury released “Christmas Rappin,” and it sold more than 400,000 copies, becoming an annual classic. Its gold follow-up, “The Breaks,” helped ignite an international “Rap Attack.” He released 10 albums in over 11 years: his full-length debut, “Kurtis Blow;” his second, “Deuce,” a Top 50 Pop album and a big hit across Europe; “Party Time” featuring a pioneering fusion of rap and gogo; and “Ego Trip,” including the hits “8 Million Stories,” “AJ,” and “Basketball.” In 1985, he released “America,” featuring “If I Ruled the World,” a Top 5 hit on the “Billboard” R&B chart; Columbia/Sony recording artist Nas debuted at No. 1 on the “Billboard” Pop Album chart with a cover of the song in 1997.

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