A Workshop Production Donald Byrd's The Harlem Nutcracker
Sun, Dec 15, 2019 at 2pm
The 2019 production of Donald Byrd's The Harlem Nutcracker is a workshop!
The story centers around an African American family in Harlem at Christmas, highlighting the centrality and significance of the grandmother in African-American culture, the resilience of Black American families, and Harlem as a center of the African Diaspora.
The re-creation process of The Harlem Nutcracker will be carried out in 3 phases, with a main stage production set to debut in Seattle in 2021, on the 25th Anniversary of its premiere. This workshop production is phase 1 of the process and will focus on Act 1, “Party Scene” and Act 2, “Club Sweets” (“Land of the Sweets” in the traditional ballet).
The Harlem Nutcracker premiered in December 1996 at Arizona State University in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Gammage Memorial Auditorium. It made its NYC premiere later that year at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. Touring extensively each holiday season from 1996-2002, The Harlem Nutcracker gained national recognition, received critical acclaim and was dubbed an "instant classic."
The music in this workshop production of The Harlem Nutcracker will be devised by Composer, Arranger, and Conductor David Berger, who drew from Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s “Nutcracker Suite” to create the evening-length composition for the original production. Using a classic jazz trio of piano, bass, and drums, Berger will rework the music used during the original developmental phase of the production in New York in the 1990s.