12/09/16 12:06pm
How do you make the ballet more diverse? Transport the Nutcracker to Brooklyn

Photo by Stephan Moskovic.

About halfway through the Brooklyn Ballet’s new performance of the Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Museum, three dudes walk on stage looking like they got lost on the way to the subway. They’re wearing fashionable clothes and hoodies instead of tutus and tights, and when the traditional music kicks in, they break into dance moves that are more showtime than pointe shoes.

If other Nutcracker performances are all about the prim, polish and traditionalism of a 120-year old ballet, this one is about cracking open that hard nut (see what I did there) and bringing the show to new audiences. Since this is Brooklyn, that means a diverse cast, a mix of dance styles from around the world, light-up outfits built with the help of a local hacker space and transforming the character Drosselmeyer into a master of the pop-and-lock. This is the first time the Brooklyn Ballet has done a full Nutcracker performance, so artistic director Lynn Parkerson was keen to make the show feel at home on Eastern Parkway.

“Why would I do the traditional Nutcracker? New York City Ballet has that locked up,” she told Brokelyn. “If I’m going to do a Nutcracker, it should reflect the place that we are in. … Already there’s these different characters from different countries. Brooklyn is this incredibly diverse borough, so it just lends itself to that.”

The production is tied to the overall recent emphasis on diversity in the performing arts, from Misty Copeland and Hamilton down to public school programs. And yeah, ballet isn’t cheap, but this one is still relatively affordable: New York City Ballet productions can run you hundreds of dollars. This show’s $90 tickets sold out through Sunday night. But Parkerson’s approach to the show, which emphasizes diversity and accessibility to new audiences who don’t frequent Lincoln Center, could be a big move toward keeping ballet relevant for future generations. (more…)

12/11/15 8:50am
The Schlep Sisters will light allll your candles (#13) (pic by Ben Trivett)

The Schlep Sisters will light allll your candles (#13) (pic by Ben Trivett)

1. Geek out at a night of Nerd Nite lectures: topics include supervillains, celebrity scandals from the ’20s, and sci-fi’s killer ladies. (Friday, $10)

2. Get funky with the Brooklyn Ballet’s Nutcracker Sweet!, a thoroughly modern take that includes LED-spangled tutus made by NYCResistor, hip-hop and Middle Eastern dance choreography, and projections of vintage Brooklyn. (Friday through Sunday, $25)

3. Go hybrid at the Bushwick Starr’s 5th annual Puppets & Poets Festival, co-produced with Alphabet Arts. (Friday through Sunday, $18) (more…)

kings theatre

See it in real life, not just in pictures. via Kings Theatre Flickr

If you’ve been drooling over pictures of how nice the Kings Theatre looks after its $94-million restoration, you might also be someone who’s chomping at the bit to get inside and see what it looks like. Well, we’ve got good news for you, because you’ll be able to do that and do it for free. Ditmas Park Corner reports that the Church Avenue BID will hook you up with free tickets to see a preview performance at the theatre this Tuesday. All you’ve gotta do is send an email and then put on something warm, because you’re gonna be standing on line. (more…)