REVIEW: Hip Nop Nutcracker

Are you tired of slogging through the same old Nutcracker ballet routines year after year, with the same pink tutus and tired old 19th Century set designs?  Do you feel like stuffing your eyes with tinsel if you see one more guy in nude tights with a bright red jacket and shiny brass buttons?  If so, you’re not alone… but thankfully, there’s a cure!  Where do I find this cure for holiday tradition malaise you ask?  Not Minneapolis, no sir!  That’s right, cross the river and experience the return of the Hip-Hop Nutcracker at the Ordway in resurgent St. Paul!  Here for just two days, Hip-Hop Nutcracker blends traditional music with hip-hop choreography and a retro urban setting to immerse you in an experience that is at once familiar, yet strikingly fresh and modern.  The diverse group of dancers demonstrate numerous feats of athleticism and flare as they jump, spin, twist, stomp their way around the stage, all while bringing a sense of humor and warmth to music you’ve heard so often you barely remember where it came from.  I was all the more impressed with the choreography because it appeared to effortlessly blend Tchaikovsky’s orchestral suite with dance moves that would normally be set to thumping bass and the percussive sounds of a DJ scratching vinyl.  To top it all off, the show is emceed by none other than Kurtis Blow, one of the godfathers of hip-hop.  He brings an aura of authenticity, energy and enthusiasm that is often imitated, but seldom matched.  This show has the potential to bring together audiences both young and old and breathe new life into a holiday tradition.  If you’re unable to get tickets, call (651.282.3000), email (, or tweet @TheOrdway and let them know that you don’t want to wait another 10 years for them to bring it back!

Hip Hop Nutcracker is at The Ordway through November 25, 2015.  Tickets start at $25.  Rush tickets may be available.  Click here for their AWESOME student rush ticket program.