The Nutcracker Sweets: A Hip Hop Nutcracker

December 2, 2004

Just like last year, many of us plan to resume our typical holiday tradition this year of going to see the Nucracker ballet.  Perhaps you prefer the illustrous San Francisco performance at the War Memorial Opera House or maybe you've planned on attending the high praised Oakland performance at Paramount theatre.  But no matter which one you have your hearts set on, you know its going to be the same old thing you've seen year after year.  Don't get me wrong, the Tchaikovsky score gives me chills in all the right places, and I'm a sucker for lacy costumes and pirouettes in rapid succession, but frankly, after the first half hour I'm bored.  

This year, I'm breaking with trandition and attending the almost sold out performance of The Nutcracker Sweets– a, shall we say, alternative Nutcracker, at the Brava Theatre in the marvelous multicultural Mission district of San Francisco.  Granted, it's also my six-year-old daughter Elise's first dance recital, but where else can I watch the Nutcracker, set to hip hop music and performed by talented, eclectic bunch of little boys and girls with visions of break dancing in their heads?

Under the watchful supervision of their beloved dance teacher hip hop princess Leila Baradaran, 20 little hip hoppers dressed in jeans, sneakers, and oversided candycane T-shirts, will take the stage to dance to a sequence even J-lo would be proud of.  Best of all, each performer has a 30 second "solo" at the end where they will have the chance to showcase their best shimmies, shakes, splits, and full body spasms.  No where else in the Bay Area will you be able to see the level of Nutcracker entertainment, I guarantee it.

You know, I'll probably ending up taking Elise to the War Memorial Opera House this year for yet anotherNutcracker ballet performance- a tradition that began when she was two years old.  Especially now, that we've graduated from the peanut gallery, wher all the familes with tiny tots and unruly children sequester themselves from the more civilized.

But I will be forever gratefule Elise's dancing school, Dance Mission, for coming up with such a unconventional spin in such a conventional tradition

The Nutcracker Sweets: A Hip Hop Nutcracker was published on December 2, 2004 in Features

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