URBAN NUTCRACKER by Anthony Williams will return to the Boch Center Shubert Theater in December

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Anthony Williams’ “Urban Nutcracker,” the Boston-centric modern holiday classic presented by the City Ballet of Boston, returns to the Boch Center Shubert Theater in 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. Rooted in classical ballet, the shows also include a wide range of dance forms such as tap, hip-hop, flamenco and jazz, accompanied by a local 8-piece orchestra.

Tony Williams said, “Our production is inspired by many aspects of Boston and its settings. It’s really a show that I created to honor Boston and our history. I’m happy to have a real ‘Boston Casse -Nutcracker”, as it pays homage to the city. and its many iconic landmarks! Our production captures the essence of the traditional Nutcracker story, while utilizing Tchaikovsky’s glorious music as well as the urban flair of the incomparable Duke Ellington, performed live by the Urban Nut/Band. There is never a dull moment while watching the many dance styles. We offer ballet with Snowflake Fairies dancing on pointe, tap, hip-hop, flamenco and swing. For 21 years, Urban Nutcracker by Anthony Williams has been celebrating diversity through dance!”

With new and original cast dancers Sabi Varga and Toby Towson as Drosselmeyer, tap dancing phenom Khalid Hill (who is also featured in the holiday movie “Spirited” starring Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds and Octavia Spencer), local hip-hop legend Ricardo Foster Jr and Ugandan-born ballerina Victoria Jaenson, plus partnerships with Northeast Youth Ballet, Walnut Hill School for the Arts and Revels, “Urban Nutcracker” can be enjoyed by the whole family and all ages!

And now, audiences across the United States can watch “Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker” on public television! US public television is distributing a filmed performance of the popular holiday stage production along with an accompanying 30-minute documentary, “Beyond the Stage: The Urban Nutcracker, Community & The Arts” to public television stations nationwide. Programs will begin airing November 25, 2022, check your local public TV listings for upcoming shows. The Greater Boston show airs Dec. 17 on GBH 44.

Considered “an artistic holiday tradition reflecting Boston’s rich multicultural diversity” by the Boston Globe, more than 150 performers – local children and professional dancers – take to the stage in this joyful rendition of heroine Clarice’s adventure with the street magician Drosselmeyer.

They explore iconic Boston sites such as the “Make Way for Ducklings” statues, the golden dome of the State House, the Boston Public Garden, the “Green Monster” in Fenway Park, the Citgo sign, the Hatch Shell and the center -city of Boston. The stage comes to life with hundreds of colorful costumes reimagined by designer Dustin Todd Rennells (originally designed by Rebecca Cross) with eye-catching backdrops by Janie Howland.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Boston’s City Ballet’s iconic Urban Nutcracker again this year,” said Joe Spaulding, President and CEO of the Boch Center. “Urban Nutcracker was built around the 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 greatly value our partnership with the City Ballet.”

NEW DROSSELMEYERS THIS YEAR

This season’s production sees the iconic role of Drosselmeyer passed to dancers Sabi Varga and Toby Towson from Gianni DiMarco, who assumed the role in 2009, following the untimely death of the first Drosselmyer, Dr Michael Shannon.

A former Boston Ballet soloist, Sabi Varga trained at the Hungarian Dance Academy and was named Best Young Dancer at the Rudolf Nureyev International Competition. After graduating, he joined Alberta Ballet, and from 2002 to 2017 he danced with Boston Ballet. Varga has performed leading roles in works by George Balanchine, Helgi Tomasson and Christopher Wheeldon.

Toby Towson is an American gymnast and dancer. He starred as Sesame Street Barkley’s Muppet dog in his first appearance on A Special Sesame Street Christmas and in Season 10. Towson was the 1968 and 1969 NCAA Gymnastics Champion in floor exercise. As an assistant to American women’s gymnastics coach Kelli Hill, Towson coached Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes. He has coached nationally with the USA Gymnastics Talent Opportunity program and is a national level judge with USA Gymnastics.

URBAN NUTCRACKER AND DOCUMENTARY ON U.S. PUBLIC TV

URBAN NUTCRACKER by ANTHONY WILLIAMS is a live, filmed-for-TV performance of the popular holiday stage production that has been produced over the past 20 years in Boston to critical and public acclaim.

BEYOND THE STAGE: THE URBAN NUTCKER, COMMUNITY & THE ARTS is a half-hour companion piece to the performance program and features behind-the-scenes footage from the production and commentary on how accessibility and representation in the arts create community and empower young people. With a focus on Anthony Williams’ “Urban Nutcracker” – a hybrid production that combines traditional ballet with a range of local styles, from hip-hop and tap to Russian folk dance – we witness the power of the art of building community through movement and music, shared in a spirit of respect and self-expression.

These two festive and dynamic holiday specials are presented and distributed nationally by US public television and will air on public television stations nationwide on November 25, 2022 (check local listings).

LGBTQ+ INCLUSIVE PROGRAM

Urban Nutcracker’s wrap party sees an LGBTQ+ inclusive version of “Urban Nutcracker” take the stage. With same-sex partners, male dancers in drag and pointe, this performance challenges dance’s typical gender stereotypes.

Local drag artist Patty Bourrée joins “Urban Nutcracker” for this performance. Patty Bourrée is a singer, cabaret artist and drag artist. Known for her big voice, vintage style and bad attitude, an evening with Patty Bourrée is always a unique and unforgettable experience. Follow her on Instagram @pattybourree and discover her story time at the library as told by GBH News.

Performance details:

Urban Nutcracker will play at the Boch Center Shubert Theater (265 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116).

Tickets are available at the Boch Center box office, https://www.bochcenter.org/events/detail/urbannutcracker2022, or by calling (866) 348-9738.

Groups of 10 or more can book discounted tickets now by contacting Boch Center Group Sales at (617) 532-1116 or [email protected]

Ticket prices: $29 to $118

Saturday, December 17 at 2 p.m.
Saturday December 17 at 7 p.m. – PRESS EVENING
Sunday, December 18 at 1 p.m.
Sunday, December 18 at 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, December 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, December 23 at 7:00 p.m. (LGBT-inclusive performance)

All performances last approximately 2 hours with a 20 minute intermission.

About American Public Television

American Public Television (APT) is the leading syndicator of high-quality, premium programming for the nation’s public television stations. Founded in 1961, APT distributes 250 new program titles annually and more than a third of the top 100 rated public television titles in the United States APT’s diverse catalog includes documentaries, performances, dramas, programs practices, classic films, children’s series and news and current affairs shows. Midsomer Murders, America’s Test Kitchen, AfroPoP, Rick Steves’ Europe, Pacific Heartbeat, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television, Legacy List with Matt Paxton, Front and Center, Lidia’s Kitchen, Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen, Simply Ming, The Best of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, Front & Center, James Patterson’s Kid Stew and NHK Newsline are some of APT’s programs considered to be among the most popular on public television. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service and distributes CreateTV – featuring the best in public television lifestyle programming – and WORLD, the premier news, science and documentary channel in public television. To learn more about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.

About the City Ballet of Boston
City Ballet of Boston (CBB) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides quality dance education to a diverse urban community to lead an elite professional company. The company is built on a strong value system of inclusivity and believes that diversity through dance increases creativity both in the studio and on stage. The basic philosophy of a rigorous dance program is that quality dance builds physical and mental discipline and is also an excellent means of cultural education.

CBB has established a rich training program to provide quality dance education, with a primary focus on ballet, in a fully supportive environment. The training provided goes beyond dance, and students will receive support and guidance to develop better relationships with each other and with their communities. This is an important step in achieving the ultimate goal of creating more professional dancers of color and for those dancers to experience personal growth and development to support them throughout their careers and beyond. .

The company’s scholarship program, the Boston City Youth Ballet, offers two levels for young dancers. The introductory Relevé and Intermediate Developpe (ages 8-11) levels are perfect for beginning students who are eager to learn. For more advanced dancers aged 12 to 20, the Lying level focuses on both technique and the art of interpretation. The program, now in its third year, is funded in part by the Carl & Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation. cityballetofboston.org

About Urban Nutcracker and Tony Williams

The “Urban Nutcracker” celebrates multicultural Boston through a wide range of diverse dance styles. “Urban Nutcracker” harnesses the power of the arts to unite diverse communities to be a catalyst for positive social change. The main sponsor of Casse-Noisette Urbain is Adage Capital.

Tony Williams is a retired dance pioneer and international ballet star. Williams’ dance philosophy uses the arts to unite diverse communities in Boston, having had first-hand experience of how the arts can transform the lives of young people. As a young man, he gained access to the Boston Ballet’s dance program and progressed to become a principal dancer. From there he danced with the Joffrey Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and performed all over the world. When Williams retired, he returned to his hometown of Jamaica Plain, where it all started, and opened a dance school. Soon after, he created the beloved Urban Nutcracker which is a hit in downtown Boston every year. Widely respected as a progressive dance educator, Williams won the 2019 Boston Dance Alliance Dance Champion Award, the 2011 Dance Teacher Magazine Award, and the 2008 Wheelock Family Theatre’s Wheel Award alongside Jacques D’Amboise. urbannutcracker.com

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