Urban Nutcracker, Holiday Classic with Inner City Edge from BalletRox
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The last date listed for Urban Nutcracker was Saturday December 19, 2009 / 7:30pm.
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Get ready to party like it's 1929 as you join fellow WGBH supporters for an evening of swing dancing to live tunes performed by Brooklyn's own Baby Soda Jazz Band. You can get into the swing of things with an optional one-hour beginners' lesson from Boston Swing Central. Then, it's time to dance the night away, but don't worry -- no experience or partner is required. You'll have a blast while learning about the history and culture of swing dancing from experts who'll demonstrate how the style has evolved. Seasoned dancers can even take part in a Charleston contest. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from JaneE618
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I enjoyed this event. I have seen the traditional Nutcracker several times before so it was cool to see and hear a new version. It would have been nice if they incorporated even more alternative dance forms, like more hip hop, jazz, tap etc. I loved the jazzy versions of the music.
Urban Nutcracker stretches beyond classical expectations by combining unexpected elements of dance and music. The dancers, whose multi-ethnic backgrounds add a richness and depth to this reinvention of the holiday classic, allow the audience to connect and bridge cultural barriers. The brilliant dream sequences with imaginative and colorful costuming and scenery will transport the audience beyond the reach of traditional interpretations. Urban Nutcracker will inspire a new following of dance and theatre enthusiasts!
Dancers include Khalid Hill, an original member of __Bring in Da’ Noise, Bring in Da’ Funk __who is returning to this year’s Urban Nutcracker after receiving his Master’s degree from NYU. Hill is joined by his wife Janille Hill who formerly lead the Step Team at Boston Latin School.
Gianni DiMarco, a former dancer for Boston Ballet, is thrilled to make his debut in the role of Drosselmeyer in a new and exciting characterization.
Each year in the Urban Nutcracker, the prologue is a dynamic mix of dance styles and music, including live drumming and doo wop singing. In this year’s production, highlights include the brilliant tapping of Khalid Hill.
This opening scene sets the stage for a Nutcracker like you never imagined!
To keep our annual event fresh and exciting, the Urban Nutcracker adds spectacular new ingredients to spice up the mix:
- New Russian Dance – “Caviar Caper” Boris Gershman, of the Premier Dance School of West Hartford, Connecticut, has created exciting new, authentic Russian choreography for this year.
- Traditional Chinese dance – “Ginseng Brisé” performed by the Angel Dance Troupe, students of Angel Performance Art, a Boston area based school focused on preserving and teaching Chinese culture, dance and art in America.
- Step dancers from the Boston Latin School Step Dance Team.
Also back and better than ever:
- Yo-el Cassell, Tony-Award winning dancer and choreographer, reprises his role for the ninth time as Drosselmeyer’s hilarious sidekick Mini-Meyer! Accomplished in dance, pantomime, and puppetry, Yo-el appeared as Pinocchio in the 2006 Broadway production of Julie Taymor’s version of Pinocchio, Geppetto and Son. As a multi-faceted performer, Yo-el will soon be starring in the re-make of a much loved children’s classic PBS television show. Stay tuned…
- The Urban Nutcracker cast has more kids than ever – more than 80, plus seasoned professionals and students! * Husband and wife team Janille Hill and Khalid Hill join our show. Janille brings her talents as a former Boston Latin School Step Team Leader, and Khalid his expertise as a tapper who danced in the original Bring in Da’ Noise, Bring in Da’ Funk.
- 2009 marks eight years of having members of the famous G-Clefs, an all-star line-up of Doo Wop veterans.
Anthony Williams, Founder and Artistic Director of BalletRox, was born in Naples, Italy, and raised in Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. At age 16, after experiencing trouble as a street gang member, he discovered a pathway to success through ballet. His strong athletic abilities in track, baseball and gymnastics accelerated his dance training. Mr. Williams remembers how his early exposure to dance opened up a path of self-expression that was hidden to him. Ballet offered him the necessary tools to make a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood, and gave him the confidence to take on the challenge of an exciting career.
Mr. Williams began his early training with Lithuanian ballerina Tatiana Babuskina. Shortly following this, he received a scholarship from the Boston School of Ballet, training with E. Virginia Williams (founder of the Boston Ballet) and Sydney Leonard. He joined the Boston Ballet in 1964, and after dancing for only three years, worked his way up from Corps-de-Ballet to Principal Dancer. He then danced solo roles with the Joffrey Ballet and was a Principal Dancer with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Gulbenkian Ballet of Portugal and the Norwegian National Ballet.
As founder and director of BalletRox, Mr. Williams demonstrates to Boston’s children that no matter who they are, how they look, or what their background, they can, through hard work and dedication someday see in themselves – as Mr. Williams has seen in himself – a professional dancer, entrepreneur, teacher, civic leader, and role model.