Seeing The Nutcracker ballet is a Christmas tradition for many, but for dancers who spend months each year listening to Tchaikovsky’s familiar score, there is a desire to do something new and fresh with the music and story.
“Our story line has pretty much the same perspective. The Brown family is throwing a holiday party,” said Ferneasa Cutno, the artistic director at Cutno Dance Center, who has created a contemporary Nutcracker in The South, which will be presented at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center. “But their friends, the Martins, just lost their home in a fire on Thanksgiving.”
The adults give the Martins money at the party, and the Browns’ daughter, Coco, invites the Martins’ daughter, Melanie, to spend the night.
During the sleep-over, the two enter the magical Land of the Sweets – but with a twist.
Instead of sticking strictly to ballet and the traditional Tchaikovsky themes, Cutno blends in Duke Ellington’s jazz version of the Christmas classic and adds a few other pieces, such as music from A Charlie Brown Christmas. In addition, there are hip-hop, modern, African, tap and contemporary dances as well as a visit from Santa and his elves.
Cutno also incorporates the religious theme of the Christmas holiday by having her professional dancers perform to O Holy Night.
“The production reminds me of The Wizard of Oz. There are a lot of parallels,” she said.
Tickets are $15 for children and $20 for adults in advance at 21397.recitalticketing.com. Tickets at the door are $18 for children and $23 for adults.
For additional information, call (706) 364-3442.