"The Hip Hop Nutcracker" remixes a classic. /Courtesy of The Strathmore
"The Hip Hop Nutcracker" remixes a classic. /Courtesy of The Strathmore

Almost 125 years old, “The Nutcracker” is easily one of the most retold Christmas stories of all time.

To imagine a rendition unique to any that have already been done seemed far-fetched — until, that is, out of New York City came “The Hip Hop Nutcracker.”

A holiday mashup of Russian writer Tchaikovsky’s classic, the adaptation reimagines the story through explosive hip-hop choreography, all-star dancers, an onstage DJ and an electric violinist.

“When we developed ‘The Hip Hop Nutcracker,’ we wanted to place a spin on a holiday classic that would appeal to modern day society,” said Jennifer Weber, choreographer and director. “Using hip-hop as the medium to do so just naturally fit. Hip-hop is a cultural, classic language of urban America that speaks to the next generation.

“It’s a youthful production, but we stay true to the music,” she said. “The dancing is what is hip-hop and that is what makes the show so exciting. It’s such an exhilarating way to hear the music and to see the story.”

Developed in 2013, with its first full production in 2014, “The Hip Hop Nutcracker” will come to the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland, at 5301 Tuckerman Lane on Friday, Dec. 16 at 8 p.m.

The show combines breakdancing, martial arts, gymnastics and funk, performed by a diverse group of people with a message of love, community and the magic of the holiday season.

“People have been loving this show,” Weber said. “Our productions alone have a mix of all kinds of people from all over the world including places like Norway and Mexico in addition to the United States.

“Our production transcends age, race, gender … because it brings something to table for everyone,” she said. “Those really into ballet will get to enjoy what they came for and all hip-hop fans will be able to enjoy too.”

Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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