Mark Morris’ The Hard Nut returns to Zellerbach Hall for the first time in five years with go-go boots, dancing G.I. Joes, gender-bending snowflakes and more. Morris’ alternative take on The Nutcracker, is set to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, performed by members of the Berkeley Symphony. This production made its West Coast debut at Cal Performances in 1995.
The Hard Nut
Mark Morris Dance Group
Music by Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker)
Choreography by Mark Morris
Colin Fowler, conductor
Members of the Berkeley Symphony
Piedmont East Bay Children's Choir, Ensemble
Robert Geary, founding artistic director
Mark Morris's enchanting The Hard Nut returns to Zellerbach Hall, its favorite holiday home. One of the Bay Area's essential and most loved holiday traditions, this warmhearted Morris masterpiece is a retake on the traditional Nutcracker ballet, staying within the framework of E.T.A. Hoffmann's classic tale, yet updating the canvas to include dancing Barbie dolls, gogo boots and hilarious dancing snowflakes. But what makes The Hard Nut truly memorable is the tenderness and lyricism behind Morris's dazzling wit, the brilliance of the dancing itself, and scenes of such deeply felt emotion that they regularly leave audiences in tears. Set to Tchaikovsky's timeless full score, The Hard Nut is "seriously entertaining, gorgeously danced, and improbably touching...it frankly celebrates all that is familiar about the beloved ballet: love of family, the warmth of the holidays, one little girl's lovely dream on Christmas Eve" (San Francisco Chronicle).