Grand Rapids – The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s 130-year-old ballet reimagined as a holiday dance spectacle, will travel to 30 cities this fall to celebrate the show’s 10th season, including a stop at DeVos Performance Hall on Sunday, November 27, 2022. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 9 at 10AM at DeVosPerformanceHall.com.
The touring production features hip hop pioneer Kurtis Blow, the first rapper to be signed by a major label in 1979. Blow is considered one of hip hop’s founding fathers and will perform as the MC of The Hip Hop Nutcracker. The tour includes a cast of a dozen all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ and an electric violinist who turns the beloved Tchaikovsky score on its head. Preview the production here: https://youtu.be/toBO5yHVIhg.
Created in 2013 by director/choreographer Jennifer Weber and writer Mike Fitelson, The Hip Hop Nutcracker pays homage to the original (George) Balanchine ballet, retold through the modern, self-expressive gaze of hip-hop culture. The production has evolved into a masterpiece due to the creators' never-ending commitment to enhancing the production, and dancers who continue to raise the bar each year. To date, The Hip Hop Nutcracker has been performed more than 200 times in 70 cities.
“I love taking this show on the road each year and creating lifelong memories for our audiences,” says Kurtis Walker, known professionally as Kurtis Blow. “And to be celebrating our 10th season this year is such a big accomplishment for the show.”
It’s a big accomplishment for Blow as well. On December 6, 2020, he had a heart transplant that has given him a new life. He paved the way for generations of hip hop artists and fans after scoring the first certified gold record rap song in 1980, “The Breaks.” He was also the first rapper to be signed to a major label. Blow is also responsible for “Christmas Rappin,” the perennial first rap holiday song.
Just like the classic Nutcracker story, in The Hip Hop Nutcracker Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker Prince go on a dream adventure battling a gang of mice, visiting the land of sweets and learning the lessons of the holiday season. Innovative digital graffiti and visuals transform the landscape of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s beloved story from traditional 19th century Germany to the vibrant, diverse sights and sounds of contemporary New York City. Through the modern, self-expressive gaze of hip hop culture, the dynamic performers of The Hip Hop Nutcracker celebrate the magic of the entire holiday season on the most inclusive holiday of them all – New Year’s Eve, a time for new beginnings.
For the latest news and updates follow The Hip Hop Nutcracker on Facebook, Instagram (@hiphopnutcracker), and YouTube; #HipHopNutcracker.
About Maximum Entertainment Productions
MEP is a producing, developing and management company founded by Avram Freedberg, Mary Beth Dale and Eva Price, and is joined by Managing Director/General Manager Carl Flanigan. Select Broadway, Off-Broadway and Touring credits include Titanique (Off-Broadway 2022); What the Constitution Means to Me (National Tour 2021); August Wilson’s Jitney (National Tour 2019-20); Cruel Intentions: The ’90s Musical; Small Mouth Sounds; Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Broadway!; The Hip Hop Nutcracker; The Lion; Verso; Black Light; Born for This (LA and Boston); 50 Shades! The Musical; Ivy + Bean The Musical; Voca People; and Colin Quinn: Long Story Short.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States. It is the artistic, cultural, educational, and civic center of New Jersey — where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. As New Jersey’s Town Square, NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists, while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 10.5 million visitors since opening its doors in 1997, reached almost two million children and families through its education and community programs, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents. Visit www.njpac.org for more information.
About ASM Global
Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall are managed by ASM Global. ASM Global is the world’s leading producer of entertainment experiences. It is the global leader in venue and event strategy and management—delivering locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to achieve maximum results for venue owners. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 350 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention, and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. asmglobal.com.