Where ballet meets burlesque, The SlutcrackerⓇ is a feminist retelling of The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s famed 1890s ballet, “Casse Noisette,” or “The Nutcracker.” While the story has been altered to chronicle Clara’s sexual empowerment, the ballet’s original structure has been well-preserved and remains true to its artistic integrity.
The SlutcrackerⓇ, now in its 13th season, premiered in 2008 to sold-out audiences at Somerville Theatre in Massachusetts, and the ballet has since been performed internationally at venues including Theatre St. Denis in Montreal in 2010.
Additionally, the event’s creators were invited to the Czech Republic to record with Brno Philharmonic conductor Mikel Toms (currently the resident conductor of the National Orchestra of India), where The SlutcrackerⓇ soundtrack was recorded live. The official “Slutcracker Sweet” is also available on iTunes.
“…altered to chronicle Clara’s sexual empowerment…brings together ballet dancers, burlesque performers, hula hoopers, belly dancers…”
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this year’s rendition of The SlutcrackerⓇ has been moved to an online streaming platform. Slutcracker: The Movie, featuring archival footage from the 2019 season interwoven and edited into a cinematic format, will be available for audiences across the globe to watch from the comfort of their own home starting this Thanksgiving.
The SlutcrackerⓇ brings together ballet dancers, burlesque performers, hula hoopers, belly dancers, and so many others with interests in flamenco, hip hop, pole, acting, and myriad dance forms. The production is directed and choreographed by Vanessa White, who creates dance-theater stage shows, typically with a political/feminist bent and which embrace diversity across several spectra, including race, gender, genre, and body type.
“The cast is diverse across several axes: We cast performers of different shapes, sizes, colors, genders, abilities, ages (over 18), and talents.” Said, White. “Year to year, the show changes partly based on who gets cast in a show in a particular season. Sometimes inspiration for a new character, costume, or scene comes from an audition. I give a lot of wiggle room for performers to shape their characters—their diverse experiences bring a richness to both the storytelling and the choreography that a director can’t deliver on their own.”
“The show must go on.” Said Producer John Wenworth. “For performers and audiences alike, The SlutcrackerⓇ has become a highly anticipated tradition. We look forward to it every year. The prospect of missing this heartwarming and silly sexiness, especially now, seems terrible. We are, however, thrilled to be able to offer our brand of holiday cheer, despite the curse of 2020, to both our returning fans and to a new international audience.”