BWW Preview: THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER at NJPAC 12/17 with Special Guest Kurtis Blow

The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky's timeless music, is a holiday mash-up that is sure to please the entire family. Produced by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and co-commissioned by United Palace of Cultural Arts, the highly acclaimed performance is making two NY Metro-area stops during its second North American tour of 23 cities from Los Angeles to New York. It will be on the Newark Stage on Saturday, December 17th at 3:00 pm in the venue's Victoria Hall.

Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber and adapted by Mike Fitelson, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a full-length production performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ and a violinist. While Act I faithfully contemporizes the traditional Nutcracker narrative arc, Act II reimagines what happens when the mysterious Drosselmeyer casts a spell on Maria-Clara and her prince, allowing them to travel back in time to the moment when her parents first met. Digital scenery transforms E.T.A. Hoffmann's beloved story set to the streets of New York. The dance work celebrates love, community and the magic of New Year's Eve.

Jennifer Weber told us why she thinks audiences are attracted to the Hip Hop Nutcracker as a holiday performance event. "I think audiences are curious how we interpret the famous Tchaikovsky score into the language of hip hop dance. Hip Hop has a huge audience as does The Nutcracker and, with this show, we get people from both camps sitting together enjoying our take on this iconic work. In addition, I think people are looking for a contemporary interpretation of the holiday classic--something more fitting for the world we live. The Hip Hop Nutcracker, with our diverse cast, represents the way people look and move today while staying true to the much-loved story."

Special guest MC Kurtis Blow, one of hip hop's founding fathers, will open the show in several cities with a short set before rapping the introduction to The Hip Hop Nutcracker.

"Three years ago, the world premiere of The Hip Hop Nutcracker was a unique holiday event that united hip-hop fans, families, and classical music and dance audiences - so many different people in our community - under one roof. This Nutcracker's dance crew, along with rap legend Kurtis Blow, simply electrified our theater," said David Rodriguez, NJPAC's Executive Vice President and Executive Producer. "We are excited to share this new classic with audiences across the country."

For more information on Jennifer Weber, visit

For more information on Decadence Dance Theatre, visit

Visit the Hip Hop Nutcracker show page at

See the other holiday shows at NJPAC that include "Forces of Nature Dance Company with Special Guest Les Nubians" on 12/17, "Handel's Messiah" with Members of New Jersey Symphony Orchestra on 12/18, and "Jose Feliciano: Feliz Navidad Show" on 12/18.

NJPAC Location and Directions: NJPAC is located at 1 Center Street, Newark, New Jersey; a short walk from the Newark Penn Station stop for New Jersey Transit, PATH Train and Amtrak trains. For ticketing information, visit and follow NJPAC on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. And for additional information and up-to-the-minute updates, call 1-888-GO-NJPAC (888-466-5722).

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NJPAC

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From This Author Marina Kennedy

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