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'Hip Hop Nutcracker' coming to Tanger Center this holiday season

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'The Hip Hop Nutcracker'

Bryan Longchamp, Dustin Payne, Lisa “LBOOGIE” Bauford, Lily Frias and Jon “gifted” Jimenez in "The Hip Hop Nutcracker."

GREENSBORO — Tchaikovsky’s 129-year-old ballet is reimagined as a holiday dance spectacle in "The Hip Hop Nutcracker," which will play Dec. 14 at the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.

The production — now returning for a tenth season — features hip hop pioneer Kurtis “The Breaks” Blow, the Tanger Center announced in a news release today.

Blow was the first rapper to be signed by a major label in 1979. Forty two years and a heart transplant later, he is is still performing as emcee of "The Hip Hop Nutcracker."

Tickets start at $39 plus fees. They go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at and

Upon seeing "The Hip Hop Nutcracker," ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov said, "Athleticism is one thing and artistry is another, but Jennifer Weber's 'Hip Hop Nutcracker' puts the two together like I've never seen. It's deeply moving, ingeniously modern and pure magic," the news release said. 

Weber is the Olivier and Emmy Award-nominated choreographer for the cast of a dozen all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ, and an electric violinist who turn the beloved Tchaikovsky score on its head, while celebrating hip hop dance culture, love and community.

Blow has paved the way for generations of hip-hop artists after scoring the first certified gold record rap song in 1980, “The Breaks.” Blow is also responsible for “Christmas Rappin,'" the perennial first rap holiday song. His recent heart transplant has given him new perspective on life, his fans and touring.

“It’s incredible for me to meet fans, and their kids, and their kids’ kids who love hip hop music,” says Blow. “It reminds me of how 'The Nutcracker' brings people of all ages together too. I hope everyone makes holiday memories for a lifetime when they come to our show.”

In "The Hip Hop Nutcracker," Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker prince go on a dream adventure battling a gang of mice, visiting the land of sweets, and learning the lessons of the holiday season.

Digital graffiti and visuals transform the landscape of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story from traditional 19th century Germany to the vibrant, diverse sights and sounds of a colorful and contemporary New York City.


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