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Saturday Night in America

Break-Dancing to Tchaikovsky in the Hip-Hop Nutcracker

Dec 20, 2016 | 8 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker was first performed in 1892; since then, the show has become a holiday tradition. In The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s soundtrack remains, but there’s no ballet. It’s a contemporary spin on a classic, and the show tours around the world. We attended a New York City performance to witness the international cast dance their own exciting version at the United Palace, a 4,000-seat theater. “To see this type of choreography done with this type of music, it tells me that dance is universal,” says Tracey Wooley, the production stage manager. “You can take something that's from the street and put it in a classical, upper-echelon setting and it still manages to create this beauty.” This is the seventh episode in The Atlantic’s video series “Saturday Night in America,” which uncovers pockets of nightlife across the nation.

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Authors: Nicolas Pollock, Erica Moriarty

About This Series

An exploration of nightlife culture across the country