Tis the season… right?
Well I’m not usually the one to get extra giddy and prepared for the holidays. My carols will more than likely be sung at the nearest karaoke bar and won’t include soft, cheerful lyrics. No I’m not the grinch who stole Christmas but call me Kunta Kinte who celebrates Kwanzaa more than anything (lol wreckless):-)
Honestly none of this matters when you live in a big city with so much to do and experience plus you know people who are amazingly talented.
Which brought me to the Urban Theatre located in lower manhattan at Arbons Arts Center presenting the Nutcracker in the Lower. A friend from Howard, Alexandria Franklin, who I must say is an amazing ballet dancer, invited me out to see this unique rendition of the famous ballet, The Nutcraker. Whether or not you are familiar with this piece, the Nutcracker in the lower presents a wonderful diverse performance incorporating Salsa, African, Flamenco, Native American, and Hip hop dances.
I must admit, the first scene had me a bit worried, as it opened with the traditional party scene but instead of a classical look, it was giving me a neighborhood,”meet me down the street at the cypher” vibe; but ultimately displaying some of the most talented dancers here in New York city leaving you in awe! I was extremely impressed with the incorporation of the different dances. It definitely gave the show an upbeat intriguing tempo leaving me wanting more African dance but reminding us that the Nutcracker is a ballet which displays its essence.
This year was the 10th annual production so during the show we were introduced to all previous and present performers for most characters. This part I loved!!! I really appreciated how the younger cast members are in direct contact with older cast members who I would hope serve as mentors and inspiration for the craft to move forward.
After the show I had the privilege to mix an mingle with the cast who were all just AMAZING! I want to give a special shout out to Edward Spots, a current Alvin Ailey performance member!! He exposed his ambition of growing up and saying, “I want to be an Ailey dancer” and is doing just that!!! Plus he wouldn’t stop complimenting my beauty with remarks such as, “you look just like Angela Basset, she is my favorite actress” lol sometimes you need the ego stroke;-)
Besides the obvious, it was sincerely a great production and I encourage all to check it out. You can get tickets and make donations online at www.urbanballettheatre.org