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Interview: Mark Morris Talks about the Elegance and Individuality of The Hard Nut at the DETROIT OPERA HOUSE

There will be two performances, Saturday, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 4, at 2:30 p.m.

Interview: Mark Morris Talks about the Elegance and Individuality of The Hard Nut at the DETROIT OPERA HOUSE

Mark Morris's The Hard Nut is dancing its way to the Detroit Opera House for the first time this holiday season! This show is a unique and wildly fun production by the globally renowned and celebrated Mark Morris Dance Group. While it may not be your traditional Nutcracker, the production is set to Tchaikovsky's enchanting score performed by a live 48-piece orchestra. This version mines E.T.A Hoffmann's original story to recreate a world inspired by American comic Charles Burns that is both funny and inventive. There will be two performances, Saturday, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 4, at 2:30 p.m.

I chatted with the wickedly talented director/ choreographer to give Broadway in Detroit fans an inside look straight from the man who created the original concept and choreography for this show.

How would you describe this show in 3 words?

"It is great!"

The Hard Nut takes place in the 1970s at a Christmas party. Where did this idea generate? What made you choose the 1970s specifically for the time period of this show?

The look of the show is roughly seventies in Act 1, The Party, which is the only part of the show that happens on Christmas. The rest takes place in no specific time. I and my collaborators decided to set it in a period which coincided with our shared history, or our ages. It can take place wherever and whenever anyone wants.

The Hard Nut takes a modern twist from the original, timeless classic show. What drew you to choreographing and creating this show? Did you direct this show as well?

There is no "original, timeless classic show" The original choreography is mostly long lost. Every production is different in many ways. Indeed, I directed/produced the show. I staged The Hard Nut because I wanted to see a Nutcracker that was more fun, more scary, more current than others I'd watched. And, of course it's the music that's the most important aspect. I use the entire piece of music, in the original sequence, without edits, and at the tempi indicated in the original Tchaikovsky score. The Nutcracker score is a real masterpiece.

When you are choreographing a show, what is your process?

I listen to and study the music; I make things up in the room with the dancers. I meet with the other collaborators (set, lighting, costume design) I rearrange and edit as I

go along. I work for weeks or months leading up to the opening. Then they're on their own.

Other than the performances in Detroit, where else will The Hard Nut be performing this holiday season?

This year we are performing The Hard Nut exclusively in Detroit.

GET TICKETS NOW!

You have worked on shows using the music of Burt Bacharach and the Beatles. Are there any other shows you're currently working on in that same genre? No. I'm just beginning to plan for some upcoming projects in dance and opera, and music. I work with different musicians, composers, and genres all the time. Time will tell.

The Hard Nut will have two performances on Saturday, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 4, at 2:30 p.m.

For tickets, visit https://detroitopera.org/season-schedule/the-hard-nut/,

by phone at 313-395-0203, and in person at the Detroit Opera House Box Office.

Connect with Mark Morris

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Connect with Mark Morris Dance Group and The Hard Nut

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From This Author - Emily Schenk

Emily Schenk is a wife and owner of a farm in Milford where she raises ducks, chickens, and her two dogs Daisy Rey and Scrumpy. She is a former thespian and current Broadway fanatic. She enjoys an ... (read more about this author)


Interview: Mark Morris Talks about the Elegance and Individuality of The Hard Nut at the DETROIT OPERA HOUSEInterview: Mark Morris Talks about the Elegance and Individuality of The Hard Nut at the DETROIT OPERA HOUSE
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