Hip Hop Nutcracker – Blending of Hip Hop and the Classic Nutcracker
William Jackson, My Quest To Teach Edited By Aida C.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker was a musical explosion combing old school Hip Hop with classical music and the grace, elegance, and power of Hip Hop dancing. The backdrop storyline of the Nutcracker provided the framework for a story that is relevant generationally dealing with the diversity of relationships and family. Using music to transcend dialogue, the dancing of the actors (yes the dancers are considered actors) showed that emotions, passions, fears, desires and love help to form our humanity and used to tell a unique story.
In its own right, Hip Hop has cultural and generational significance, inspiring musical artistry allowed story-telling to be told in a dynamic and electrifying production that literally has the audience reflecting on their memories of Hip Hop in the 80’s. Kurtis Blow still has a masterful way of getting the audience hyped and providing avenues of remembrance through the decades. The 80’s when real Hip Hop was formed and had audiences of all ages dancing in the streets, in house parties, schools and even some churches that Hip Hop as a way of community connection and unity.
There is a cross-generational connection of memories when the 80’s Hip Hop is heard. As the transition of background images of New York neighborhoods and subway artwork joined together by the concrete and steel of those days made communities more than buildings, they were families of people with similar family values, challenges, celebrations, and expectations.
The visual elements of Hip Hop Nutcracker brought a visual appeal of life in New York and a backdrop of a New York Bridge. The connection that allowed Hip Hop to travel throughout New York City and across the country. The Nutcracker has international acclaim which combined with the athletic artistry of dancers, gymnasts, and those that appear to defy gravity if just for a brief moment excites and brings true the abilities of youth, teens and young adults as artists.
Building a unique musical journey that draws in a generation that may not even know about the classical Nutcracker story that has many variations. The challenges of relationships, overcoming misunderstandings, relational realities of life. Woven into a story decades old and combining with not just a dance style, but a way of life in Hip Hop. The melodious manipulations of Hip Hop songs and classical music as manifested by a DJ (disc jockey), collaborated “scratches” building on the tempo, scales, and instrumentation of accompaniment and unity. The music radiates a yearning to connect with the finest details related to instrumentation on an electronic scale.
The two-hour show is fun, electrifying, skillfully choreographed and the acting is first rate even though displayed through dancing and the expressions of the actors. No words are exchanged which brings a unique perspective that means as you watch the performances you are engaged and encouraged to think about the events unfolding. The human spirit is seen at such a high level that in the engagements, violin solos, and other events Hip Hop Nutcracker will move you to find those old LP’s, CD’s and even YouTube videos and relive the feel of the 80’s and the nostalgia that only music can bring.
If you’re a child of the 70’s and 80’s you will enjoy the show and want to tell your children about the simpler time when there were arguments and conflicts that were many times solved by dance-offs or creating on the fly raps that were creative, innovative and allowed the brain to flow using language, not bullets to settle disagreements.
Parents should take their kids to see Hip Hop Nutcracker to show them the power of a musical genre still shared around the world and as powerful and moving as classical music. The combination is so Dope and Lit it can carry you way, back to a time when life seems built on music, love, and family.
The Florida Theater
The Hip Hop Nutcracker