The Hip Hop Nutcracker Review


Olivia Gilles, Writer

The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a show that I saw over our Thanksgiving break in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. It was a wonderful experience, something new and fresh, and perfect for the holiday season. It was a mix of the original The Nutcracker ballet, but with the classical familiar Christmas music artfully blending with live violin, a live DJ, and modern music. Our show host was Kurtis Blow, an influential rapper who started his journey in the late 1970’s welcomed us in with music and rapping, and also created an energetic closing. The cast uses contemporary hip hop to recreate the dances from the original Nutcracker by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, both with two acts.

The plot follows the original Nutcracker with the confrontation with the mice and Mouse King and the Nutcracker coming to the rescue, including some adventure, romance, and magic. Magic being a mysterious toy maker named Drosselmeyer, and some time travel to the past, the 1980’s to be exact. One thing I didn’t particularly like is that there is no dialogue, only the music, dancing, and character’s body language for you to use to interpret the events. Even with that, the show was very entertaining, and not all that hard to understand if you know the basic plot for the Nutcracker. I really enjoyed the lively and interactive music and dancing of The Hip hop Nutcracker, and would definitely watch it again. It’s perfect for the holiday season with it set on New Year’s Eve, but with the retro twist.

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