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Hip-Hop Nutcracker to bring new life, big talent to old classic

The Hip-Hop Nutcracker breathes new life into a holiday classic. Credit: Courtesy of CAPA

The Nutcracker has been a staple production during the holiday season every year for more than a century. This year, however, Columbus is showcasing a drastically different version of the classic ballet.

The Hip-Hop Nutcracker will come to the Palace Theatre Tuesday, and will breathe a modern, urban perspective into the production. The show will bring with it some high-profile talent as well, with hip-hop veteran Kurtis Blow opening the show.

Blow, perhaps most notable for his hit 1985 single “If I Ruled the World,” will perform a short set before the show starts, followed by a rap-based introduction.

The show will move from its original setting of 19th century Germany to modern-day New York City, and will explore various aspects of hip-hop culture. The production also will feature innovative digital graffiti as well as other visuals to aid in its storytelling. The dancers, choreographed by Jennifer Weber — founder of Brooklyn-based Decadancetheatre, are top-notch, Blow said.

“We’ve got some of the best dancers in the world performing in a show that is being reimagined in a truly spectacular way,” he said, adding that the touring show has been very well-received thus far.

The 12 dancers featured in the production will be accompanied on stage by a DJ as well as an electrical violinist, and will dance to remixed versions of the original Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky compositions. The story will stay relatively similar to its source material, although certain details will change, such as the setting change and the timeline being moved from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve.

The show, which will be put on by the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, is nearly sold out, said CAPA representative Rolanda Copley.

Tickets are available via Ticketmaster for $22.00 each, and the show will take place Tuesday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m.

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