The following announcement was provided by City Boston Ballet:
Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker, the modern Boston-centric holiday classic presented by
City Ballet of Boston, celebrates its 20th season this December! The live in-person performances at the Boch Center Shubert Theatre showcase 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 also include a broad range of dance forms such as tap, hip-hop, flamenco, and jazz, accompanied by a 16-piece live orchestra of local musicians.
Dancer and Watertown resident Caroline Marsh Zinser will be performing in the Boston holiday classic this season. Caroline is 8 years old and attends the J.R. Lowell Elementary School. This is her first year with the Urban Nutcracker, and she will dance the role of a Duckling in the “Make Way for Ducklings” performance. Caroline has been dancing for the past four years at the Joanne Langione Dance Center in Newton. She has also participated in the Tony Williams Dance Center summer program.
Caroline says, “I really love watching the show, and I’m super excited that I finally get to be in it!”
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 local designer Dustin Todd Rennells (originally designed by Rebecca Cross) with eye-catching sets by Janie Howland.
Featuring original cast members—tap phenomenon Khalid Hill, local hip-hop legend Ricardo Foster Jr., and Cyrus Brooks reprising his role as the hip-hop Soldier Doll—along with new partnerships with the Brooklyn Ballet, Unyted Stylz, the Northeast Youth Ballet, and Revels, Urban Nutcracker can be enjoyed by the whole family, and all ages!
Tony Williams says, “Our production draws in many aspects of Boston and its backdrops–it is
really a show I created to honor Boston and our history. I am happy to have a true “Boston Nutcracker,” because it pays homage to the City and its many iconic landmarks! Our production captures the essence of the traditional Nutcracker story, while using the glorious music of Tchaikovsky along with the inner-city twist 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 Tap, Hip Hop, Flamenco and Swing. For 20 years Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker has been celebrating diversity through dance!”
“We couldn’t be happier to host City Ballet of Boston’s iconic Urban Nutcracker again this year for their 20th anniversary season” 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
Tickets are available at the Boch Center Box Office, bochcenter.org/UrbanNutcracker2021, or by calling (866) 348-9738. Groups of 10 or more may reserve discounted tickets now by contacting Boch Center Group Sales at (617) 532-1116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ticket Prices: $29-$98
Saturday, December 18 at 1:00 PM
Saturday, December 18 at 7:00 PM – PRESS NIGHT
Sunday, December 19 at 1:00 PM
Sunday, December 19 at 5:30 PM
Wednesday, December 22 at 7:00 PM
Thursday, December 23 at 7:00 PM
All performances are approximately 2 hours with one 15 minute intermission.
About City Ballet Boston
City Ballet of Boston (CBB) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides quality dance training to a diverse urban community allowing it to run an elite professional company. The company is built on a robust values system of inclusiveness and believes that diversity through dance heightens creativity both in the studio and on the stage. The core philosophy of a rigorous dance curriculum is that quality dance builds physical and mental discipline and is also an excellent means of cultural education.
CBB has in place a rich training program to deliver a quality dance education, focused primarily on ballet, in a comprehensively supportive environment. The training provided goes beyond dance, and students will receive support and guidance to develop better connections with each other and their communities. This is a significant step in achieving the ultimate goal of creating more professional dancers of color and for these dancers to experience personal growth and development to sustain them through their careers and beyond.
The company’s scholarship training program, Boston City Youth Ballet, offers two levels for young dancers. The introductory Relevé level (ages 8-11) is perfect for beginning students who are eager to learn. For more advanced dancers ages 12-20, the Allongé level focuses on both technique and performing artistry. The program, now in its third year, is funded in part by Carl & Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation. cityballetofboston.org
About Urban Nutcracker and Tony Williams
The “Urban Nutcracker” celebrates multicultural Boston through a broad range of diverse dance styles. “Urban Nutcracker” harnesses the power the arts to unite diverse communities to be a catalyst for positive social change. Presenting sponsor of Urban Nutcracker is Adage Capital. Tony Williams is a dance pioneer and retired international ballet star. Williams’ dance philosophy uses the arts to unite diverse communities in Boston, having had direct experience on how transformative the arts can be on young lives. As a young man, he gained access to Boston Ballet’s dance program and progressed to become a principal dancer. From there he danced with the Joffrey Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and performed all over the world. When Williams retired, he returned to his hometown of Jamaica Plain, where it all began, and opened a dance school. Not long after, he created the beloved Urban Nutcracker which annually enjoys a successful run in downtown Boston. Widely respected as a progressive dance educator, Williams has won the 2019 Boston Dance Alliance Dance Champion Award, the 2011 Dance Teacher Magazine Award, and the 2008 Wheelock Family Theater’s Wheel Award alongside Jacques D’Amboise.