Rolling Out

Rap legend Kurtis Blow stars in ‘The Hip Hop Nutcracker’

Photo credit: United Palace of Cultural Arts
Photo credit: United Palace of Cultural Arts

A modern twist on the classic Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky ballet tale, The Nutcracker, is coming to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta Nov. 28. The Hip Hop Nutcracker incorporates music from the timeless Christmas story and adds street dancing and classic hip-hop, even featuring music from legendary rapper Kurtis Blow.

Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Weber, the artistic director of Decadancetheatre, The Hip Hop Nutcracker follows Maria Clara and her prince, Myron, as they travel back in time to a nightclub in 1980s Brooklyn, where her parents first met. Digital scenery, hip hop interludes remixed by DJ Boo, electric violin music, and outstanding dancers help set the mood for this contemporary love story that highlights the wonders of New Years Eve.

Kurtis Blow plays an instrumental role in getting the crowd into the hip hop holiday spirit. He performs his 1979 holiday hit, “Christmas Rappin,'” along with his other signature songs, “Basketball” and “The Breaks.”

This being the rapper’s second year involved with the production, he told rolling out that he finds the play is growing and expanding, largely due to the popularity and growth of hip hop in today’s society.

Photo credit: United Palace of Cultural Arts
Photo credit: United Palace of Cultural Arts

“Let’s keep it real — we live in a hip hop generation. This is a hip hop nation, and so to see the fusion of the classical Tchaikovsky music mixed with hip hop beats — that’s an incredible sound,” he explained.

The show has already reached New York City and will visit 11 other cities this year — including Atlanta, Miami, and Charlotte, North Carolina — before finishing the tour in Russia early next year.

David Rodriguez is also involved with the project and serves as executive vice president and executive producer of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, where The Hip Hop Nutcracker premiered with a sold-out show last December. He said taking the show to Russia is an honor.

“We can’t wait to bring this new classic to audiences across the country and wrap up the tour in Tchaikovsky’s homeland,” Rodriguez said.

Whether you love hip hop, ballet, or simply enjoy a great story, The Hip Hop Nutcracker is fun for the whole family.

“There’s ballet and break-dancing,” Kurtis Blow added. “When you mix up the classic ‘Nutcracker’ and present it with a hip hop flavor and swag, it’s the ultimate entertainment.”

Order tickets at, by calling 855-285-8499, or at the Fox Theatre Ticket Office. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 10 or more by calling 404-881-2000. View tour dates at Follow Kurtis Blow @KurtisBlow1 on Twitter.

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