When you think of the beloved holiday classic "The Nutcracker," you probably don’t think electric violin, back flips, pink hair and sneakers.
Well, "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" is all this and more, and it’s break-dancing into New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre for one show only on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s the same story, told with Tchaikovsky’s incredible score, but in the language of hip-hop dance,” explained the show’s director and choreographer, Jennifer Weber, who also serves as the artistic director of the Brooklyn-based theatrical hip-hop dance company, Decadancetheatre.
Weber says audiences can expect to see all the highlights of the original — toys coming to life, dancing snowflakes, nutcrackers — but in a way they’ve never seen them before. The show takes a slight turn from the original in that the main characters (Drosselmeyer, Maria-Clara and her Nutcracker prince) travel back in time to the moment when Maria-Clara’s parents first met in a nightclub in 1980s Brooklyn.
“We’ve got 12 dancers, plus a DJ, an emcee and electric violinist,” Weber said. “Our dancers are incredible; they’ve been on tour with artists including Madonna, J.Lo and Gwen Stefani. You’ll see lots of explosive moves. The music has so much emotion and power that translating it into hip-hop was very exciting.”
"The Hip Hop Nutcracker"’s stop in New Orleans is part of its third national tour. The first two were sold-out successes.
“All over the U.S. and Moscow audiences have been so enthusiastic,” said Weber. “So loud and supportive.”
When she first started working on the show about 5 years ago, Weber had the lofty goal of re-imagining the most famous dance piece in history for a new audience.
“There’s a reason 'The Nutcracke'r is a classic,” she said. “We hope this will be a classic for the next generation.”
The Hip Hop Nutcracker
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28
WHERE: Saenger Theatre, 1111 Canal St., New Orleans
TICKETS: $39.50 and up, ticketmaster.com or the Saenger Theatre Box Office