After working on "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" for over a year we finally got around to choreographing some dance! Last week we gathered the 12 dancers in the cast for a week-long workshop led by director/choreographer Jennifer Weber. The results were spectacular, sketching out a rough draft of how we will bring new life to this timeless story by combining hip hop dance and Tchaikovsky's score.

With perfect timing, we were honored to be included in NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's first "Voices of New York" presentation at La MaMa theatre on October 27. The evening's line-up included Broadway star Christopher Jackson, Tony Award-winning poet Lemon Andersen, and cast members from LaGuardia High School's production of "In the Heights."

Read more: Excerpted "Hip Hop Nutcracker" scenes from NYC Council Speaker's program

We've been talking about "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" for over a year, even did a mini workshop of it in December 2013. But some folks still don't quite get what we mean when we say we are mashing up Tchaikovsky's music with hip hop dance.

This video gives you a pretty good idea of where we are heading. It's the emotion and joy of the music combined with the power and style of the dance. The two art forms - classical music and hip hop dance - marry perfectly, something that co-creator Jennifer Weber has been doing with Decadancetheatre Company for several years.

Today we auditioned 50 supremely talented dancers for the 10 available roles. The dancers - an all-star selection of the city's finest - were all terrific. It's going to be painful choosing just 10.

This clip is from a group trying out for the ensemble, mixing freestyle and choreographed movements. In the background you can hear the other dancers waiting their turn to audition cheering this group on. Throughout the day dancers hummed passages of the music backstage and in the dressing rooms. The music is so contagious.

After working on this dream for over a year it's incredible to catch a glimpse of the vision materializing.

Learn more about "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" at

After weeks of discussion and fine-tuning the official 2014 logo for "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" is done. It was created by an insanely talented graffiti artist in the Bronx who goes by the name Toofly.

Like "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" the logo mashes up urban and classical styles, with graffiti and cursive treatments of the letters. The skyline is based on Washington Heights (can you identify the buildings?).

You'll start to see this logo appearing on all sorts of merchandise as we get closer to the December 7 show at the Palace and the December 5 & 6 performances at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Tickets for the Palace show go on sale later this month (NJPAC tickets are available at: But you can get a jump on everyone else by joining the "Nutcracker Backers." It includes pre-sale orchestra level seats for $50 (with the option of getting a FREE child's ticket) and additional perks. Learn more at:

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