Back for the Holidays by Vociferous Popular Demand is The Bang Group's NUT/CRACKED
THE WINTER YARD is indeed back for the 2016-2017 season, courtesy of funding from Boston's Barr Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council/Local Cultural Council (MV). And there's no better way to kick off a season of sugar, spice, and gender-fluid mistletoe, renegade skaters, proto-punk Inuk throat-singers and the island's home-grown dance stars, than with a delirious celebration of holiday spirit and tradition. Ladies and Gentlemen, you asked for it to come back, and now it's here - "NUT/CRACKED", choreographed by The Bang Group's co-director David Parker, in collaboration with the company. You may likely see a few of your neighbors or offspring up there on stage ...
Performed by NYC's The Bang Group (David Parker and Jeffrey Kazin, Co-Directors)
at the MV Performing Arts Center, Oak Bluffs
Tickets: $20 (Member); $25 (General); $15 (Seniors 65+, students, active military);
$5 (Children under 12)
It's The Nutcracker, but definitely not as we know it. The Bang Group has taken every little girl's favorite Christmas show and torn it limb from limb. Mixing Tchaikovsky's original score with music by Duke Ellington, Glen Miller and others, the company turns the sugar coated ballet into a percussive piece of dance theatre. Expect tap dancing, singing and some unusual pointe shoe activity. Nothing is sacred as NUT/CRACKED twists and melds various dance traditions into an ode to American eclecticism which honors the power of the human urge to dance while riding Tchaikovsky's voluptuous waves of rhythm.
"In [Nut/Cracked,] this deconstruction of the holiday classic, choreographer David Parker retains the essence of the original "Nutcracker" while revealing - with affection and ironic wit - the foibles and, yes, cracks, therein. Viewing it is simultaneously an education and hilarious entertainment. All told, "Nut/Cracked" is a gift wrapped in camp and laced with heart. You will laugh out loud, and leave the theater glowing. This - warmth, laughter, compassion for those you create worlds with every day - is what the holiday is all about."
Thea Singer, The Boston Globe
The Bang Group is a New York-based, theatrical dance troupe founded to honor the power of rhythm in the human urge to dance. Creating a kind of theater of rhythm, The Bang Group's choreographer David Parker, pares dance rhythm down to its essentials and builds it back up with comic enthusiasm unleashing an amalgam of tap, body percussion, vaudeville, ballet and contemporary dance that demands to be heard as well as seen. TBG creates highly legible dances that reach and excite diverse communities and are shaped in turn by their responses. Punctuated by pratfalls and yet tinged with mystery, these dances find an unlikely virtuosity in the rhythms of clumsiness and a shopworn valor in daily triumphs. The Bang Group dissolves dance dogma in a tide of rhythm and brings forth a compelling fusion of intellect and emotion. No conventions are held harmless. The company has toured widely throughout the United States and Europe appearing in 23 states and 13 countries at festivals, theaters, universities and cabarets. Many of TBG's works have achieved international acclaim including his notorious velcro duet, Slapstuck (2002 Bessie Award for Design), Nut/Cracked which has been touring for the past 12 seasons, and ShowDown a danced version of Annie Get Your Gun. TBG is the Dance Company in residence at NYC's West End Theater where it presents a thrice-yearly choreographic series called Soaking WET.
David Parker is a 2013 Guggenheim fellow in choreography. In addition to a body of work for his own company, The Bang Group, he has been commissioned by over 35 dance companies, universities and festivals. He has received a New York Dance and Performance Award ("Bessie") for Design, a finalist prize from the 4th International Competition for Choreographers of Contemporary Dance, a Special Citation from the Kurt Jooss Awards Jury (led by Pina Baush), a citation as Emerging Choreographer of Note from the Nijinsky Awards and a philanthropy prize from Dancers Responding to AIDS. Parker was also honored by Dance Theater Workshop with a MOVE Award for his steadfast commitment to DTW and its surrounding community and by The Gibney Dance Center with an Art+Action Award. He serves on the faculties of the Juilliard School and Barnard College. He is a member of the boards of directors of Danspace Project in New York and Green Street Studios in Cambridge (MA) and often serves as an adjudicator for the American College Dance Festival Association. In addition to his own work, Parker has been seen in the works of Sara Rudner (Dancing on View at the ICA in Boston), Nicholas Leichter (The Whiz), The New York Theater Ballet (as a wicked stepsister in Cinderella), Christopher Williams' The Golden Legend and, for 5 seasons, as Liesl in Doug Elkins' Fraulein Maria. Recently, Parker has also curated programs for the Rhythm and Humor Platform at Danspace, TapTheYard (an annual percussive dance festival on Martha's Vineyard), Focal Point, a percussive dance concert as part of Gotham Arts' Focus Dance Festival, and The 92nd Street Y's Fridays at Noon series.
Jeffrey Kazin spent his youth in many children's and community theater groups imagining his escape from Waltham, MA. Today he a founding member and director of The Bang Group. He has created and performed signature roles for the company throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Additionally, he proudly serves as TBG's CFO and General Factotum. Outside of TBG he has appeared in Italy in the title role of the Arena di Verona Ballet's production of Dylan Dog choreographed by David Parker, as an evil step-sister in New York Theatre Ballet's Cinderella and as Capt. VonTrapp in Doug Elkins' Fraulein Maria. Mr. Kazin studies ballet with Janet Panetta, voice with Michael Hanko. Mr. Kazin produces the thrice-yearly dance series, Soaking WET at the Upper West Side's West End Theater, curated by David Parker. He is a board member of the Peculiar Works Project theater company, a member of the Advisory Board for Gibney Dance and often serves on Dance Theater Workshop's (now NYLA) Fresh Tracks curating panel. Kazin is a graduate of Connecticut College and the National Theater Institute.
SEED. GROW. REAP. REPEAT: THE NATURE OF THE ARTIST.
Mission: The Yard supports artists in both their creative processes and social instrumentality through paid research residency, public performance, and long- term educational and community engagement across all ages and diverse cultural populations of Martha's Vineyard, and in broad application to New England and the nation.
In so doing: The Yard promotes creation, education, and community building through artistic practice-with a special emphasis on contemporary dance and related collaborative forms-in the defining rural/island environment of Martha's Vineyard.
The Yard acts, on behalf of its core commitments, as an active collaborator, co- commissioner, and touring partner with other leading institutions across a regional/national/international context to raise up a "culture of cultures" ecology that reflects-and benefits-the demographic life and times of the island of Martha's Vineyard and the country.