THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER celebrates its 10th season at NJPAC

The Nutcracker Hip Hop, Tchaikovsky’s 130-year-old ballet reimagined as a holiday dance performance, will take place on Saturday, December 17 for two spectacular performances at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. celebrating the show’s 10th season. Adding to the excitement – inspired by the live show, Disney Branded Television’s original “The Hip Hop Nutcracker” special will air this holiday season, only on Disney+.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker features hip hop pioneer Kurtis Blow, the first rapper to be signed to a major label in 1979. Blow is considered one of the founding fathers of hip hop and will perform as The Hip Hop’s MC Nutcracker. The tour features a cast of a dozen star dancers, an on-stage DJ, and an electric violinist who flips the beloved Nutcracker score. Production preview here:

Created in 2013 by director/choreographer Jennifer Weber and writer Mike Fitelson, The Hip Hop Nutcracker pays homage to the original ballet (George) Balanchine, told through the modern, self-expressive lens of hip-hop culture. The production has become a masterpiece thanks to the creators’ endless commitment to improving the production and the dancers who continue to raise the bar every year. To date, The Hip Hop Nutcracker has been played over 200 times in 70 cities. “I love performing at NJPAC every year and creating lasting memories for our audience,” says Kurtis Walker, known professionally as Kurtis Blow. “And celebrating our 10th season this year is such a huge achievement for the show.”

It’s also a great achievement for Blow; who on December 6, 2020, underwent a heart transplant that gave him new life. He paved the way for generations of hip-hop artists and fans after recording the first gold-certified rap song in 1980, “The Breaks.” Blow is also responsible for “Christmas Rappin”, hailed as the first holiday rap song.

Tickets to see The Nutcracker Hip Hop are on sale now and can be purchased by visiting or by calling 888.GO.NJPAC (888.466.5722) or by visiting in person at the NJPAC Box Office, 1 Center Street at Newark, NJ

The Hip Hop Nutcracker is produced by three-time Tony winner Eva Price and features an exciting cast of artists who bring her modern and imaginative show to life. The cast includes Ann-Sylvia Clark as Maria-Clara; Gabriel Emphasis as The Nutcracker; Liliana “Lily” Frias as Mom; Bryan Longchamp as Dad; Lisa “Lboogie” Bauford as Drosselmeyer; Randi Freitas as Mouse King, Ensemble; Anthony “Omen” Cabrera as a toy, together; Jackie “JK-47” Agudo as tea, set; Zuce Morales as a toy/set; Seth “Reaktion” Hillard as Russian, Ensemble; Jon “Gifted” Jimenez as Chocolate/Ensemble; Dustin “D-Payne” Payne as Flute, Ensemble; Ethan Evaro as Swing/Understudy; Teofilo V. Recitas II “DJ Boo” as performance DJ; and Kurtis Blow as MC.

Much like the classic Nutcracker story, in The Nutcracker Hip Hop, Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker Prince go on a dreamy adventure battling a gang of mice, visiting candy land and learning the lessons of the holiday season. Innovative graffiti and digital visuals transform the landscape of ETA Hoffmann’s beloved story, from traditional 19th century Germany to the vibrant and diverse sights and sounds of contemporary New York City. Through the modern, self-expressive look of hip hop culture, the dynamic performers of The Hip Hop Nutcracker celebrate the magic of the entire holiday season at the most inclusive party of all – New Year’s Eve, a time for new beginnings.

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