Fort Greene

Brooklyn Ballet presents hip-hop ‘Nutcracker’

October 6, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Ballet’s version of the Tchaikovsky classic features many timeless moments. Photos by Julie Lemberger

The Brooklyn Ballet is getting ready for the upcoming holiday season by preparing a hip-hop, modern-day twist on the classic ballet “The Nutcracker.”

Called “The Brooklyn Nutcracker,” the unique ballet, which opens Dec. 7 at the Irondale Center, 85 South Oxford St. in Fort Greene, features a seamless fusion of ballet, hip-hop and other dance genres to create a new tradition for today’s audiences, according to producers.

“The Brooklyn Nutcracker” re-imagines the Tchaikovsky classic, transforming the familiar “Nutcracker” characters and scenes to the multicultural Brooklyn of today.

The company first performed “The Brooklyn Nutcracker” in 2016. The entire run of the ballet was sold out.

To present the cutting edge dance, the Brooklyn Ballet collaborated with tech-based artists and designers to try to provide audiences with a multisensory experience, according to producers. The artists used a groundbreaking technology of light and motion-responsive costumes to add to the audience’s enjoyment of the experience.

As a tribute to Kings County, the digital set and backdrop seeks to transport the plot to include everything from Old Dutch Brooklyn to Flatbush Avenue.

“The Brooklyn Nutcracker was born in 2010 on a Brooklyn street corner; a dance collaboration between a petite ballerina and a large hip-hop dancer. Passersby were mesmerized so I knew we were on to something,” Artistic Director Lynn Parkerson said in a statement. “Last year’s sold-out season confirmed that Brooklynites loved seeing a holiday classic, personalized to the places they call home.”

For fans of the traditional “Nutcracker,” the Victorian-style holiday party for Clara and friends, Snow Scene, and the Waltz of the Flowers remain true to the original vision.

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But in the re-imagined version, Parkerson injects a taste of Brooklyn culture.

In “Brooklyn Nutcracker,” Clara’s mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer is portrayed by hip-hop artist Michael “Big Mike” Fields, and each snowflake is donned in a LED-wired tutu.

Six-time World Hoop Dance Champion Nakotah LaRance, who performed at last year’s ballet, returns this year to present his mix of traditional and hip-hop dance moves.

The cast of more than 50 dancers will perform a wide variety of styles including authentic Middle Eastern belly dancing and African-based modern dances. Many of the performers are students at the Brooklyn Ballet School.

The guest artists, Da’Von Doane, Dylan Santos and Ingrid Silva from Dance Theater of Harlem, will close the ballet with the famous Sugar Plum and Cavalier pas de deux from “The Nutcracker.”

Here is the performance schedule:

 

  • Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.

  • Friday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

  • Saturday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

  • Monday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

  • Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

  • Friday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

  • Saturday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

 

Visit the Irondale Theater’s website at http://irondale.org/ for more information.

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