Anthony Williams’ “Urban Nutcracker” Returns This Holiday Season to the Boch Center Shubert Theatre
Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker, the contemporary Boston-centric holiday classic presented by City Ballet of Boston, returns to the Boch Center Shubert Theatre this December! This production celebrates the city of Boston with winter scenes set in present-day downtown Boston, blending the rhythms of Duke Ellington with the classical music of Tchaikovsky. Anchored by classical ballet, the performances this year include a broad range of dance styles such as tap, hip-hop, flamenco, and jazz, accompanied by an 8-piece live orchestra of local musicians.
Tony Williams says, “For 22 years Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker has been celebrating diversity through dance. Our production is a show I created to honor Boston and our history, featuring a number of local iconic landmarks. The performances capture the essence of the traditional Nutcracker story, while using the glorious music of Tchaikovsky along with the dynamic addition of the incomparable Duke Ellington, played live by the Urban Nut/Band. One never gets bored while watching the many dance styles. We feature ballet with Snowflake Fairies dancing on pointe to Bollywood, Tap, Hip Hop, Flamenco and Swing!”
Featuring new and original cast members, Urban Nutcracker can be enjoyed by the whole family, and all ages! Returning to the Urban Nutcracker cast this year are former Boston Ballet dancers Gianni DiMarco and Sabi Varga as Drosselmeyer, along with tap phenomenon Khalid Hill and Complexions Contemporary Ballet dancer Joe González. González, born and raised in Boston, has performed nationally and internationally with Philadanco, Anna Myer & Dancers, Prometheus Dance, #dbdanceproject, and has been in the “Urban Nutcracker” cast since 2010. Also showcased–Boston’s own Hip Hop phenom, Isiah Movelikezay Beasley, and the high jumping wunderkind, Demetrius Lee!
New this year: elements of Bollywood dance are incorporated into the Prologue, and a new partnership with the Fédération Régionale de Danse de la Guadeloupe brings young dancers from the island of Guadeloupe to Boston to perform in this year’s production. Returning this year is the authentic Flamenco divertissement choreographed by Sabrina Aviles, Director of the Spanish Dance Theater. Urban Nutcracker brings an LGBTQ+-inclusive version of the production for its fourth year on December 22.
Deemed “a holiday arts tradition reflecting the rich multicultural diversity of Boston” by The Boston Globe, more than 150 performers – local children and professional dancers – take the stage in this joyful rendition of heroine Clarice’s adventure with the street magician Drosselmeyer.
They explore iconic Boston landmarks such as the “Make Way for Ducklings” statues, the golden dome of the State House, the Boston Public Garden, Fenway Park’s “Green Monster,” the Citgo sign, the Hatch Shell, and Downtown Boston. The stage comes alive with hundreds of colorful costumes re-imagined by designer Dustin Todd Rennells (originally designed by Rebecca Cross) with eye-catching sets by Janie Howland. Scott Clyve’s vivid lighting design beautifully captures the vibrant colors in a framework of beauty.
“We couldn’t be happier to host City Ballet of Boston’s iconic Urban Nutcracker again this year,” said Joe Spaulding, President & CEO of the Boch Center. “Urban Nutcracker was built around themes of inclusion, community and diversity. Sharing this type of programming with the City of Boston is central to the Boch Center’s mission and we value our partnership with City Ballet greatly.”
Urban Nutcracker will play the Boch Center Shubert Theatre (265 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116) December 16-23. Ticket prices are $29-$125 and available here.