It’s Nutcracker season once again and, as Austin knows, that means it’s Ballet season. But add a touch of swing and jive to the classic story of Clara & her Nutcracker, and you’ve got Tapestry’s 10-season celebration of local artists and the traditional tale with Of Mice & Music – A Jazz Tap Nutcracker, running December 7 – 17 in Rollins Studio Theatre. We heard from Artistic Director Acia Gray about this season staple.
Celebrate the holidays with the whole family and join Tapestry Dance company with this Austin-tatious rhythm tap and jazz spin on the beloved yuletide story, The Nutcracker!
This Tapestry tradition, which premiered to rave reviews ten year sago and standing ovations every season, Of Mice and Music unites the company’s professional dancers with the rising stars of its academy youth and adults who study with its dance academy to share a love for rhythm and movement that only Tapestry Dance Company can bring to the stage.
Of Mice and Music – A Jazz Tap Nutcracker is performed to a jazzed up version of the original Tchaikovsky score and beloved jazz classics. This delightfully entertaining musical score is played live with some of Austin’s best jazz musicians including Masumi Jones on drums, Austin Kimble on piano and Michael Stevens on bass.
Tapestry Artistic Director and National Tap Hall of Famer, Acia Gray, takes the Drosselmeyer role from the original story as Ms. Bon Marche, a dance diva who introduces little Clara to a world of dance by giving her a pair of magical TAP SHOES. This season, the journey includes a Mouse Queen (played by TDC Dance Captain Siobhan Alexis) and her “tribute to famous females in tap” style of tap, leading an army of tapping mice and rats in their battle against The Nutcracker.
Of course the traditional second act solos, including Spanish, Chinese and Russian, are brought into the world of contemporary movement and tap dance along with tap classics such as the infamous “Walk Around” by Tony Award-winning choreographer Charles “Honi” Coles, reworked into a new take on “Snow.”
“It’s been an incredible journey taking this holiday classic over the past ten seasons and adjusting for individual improvisational styles of the professional dancers from around the world,” says Gray. “As well, it’s such a joy to incorporate our dedicated adult/teen academy company Visions In Motion as the Tacky Christmas Sweater party attendees.”
Everybody must see the traditional ballet classic and Ballet Austin’s staging is truly one to see. However, if you’re ready for a wonderful does of tongue-in-cheek humor with this classic and some of the best tap dancers in the world, this is a holiday tradition not to miss! Not only is Tapestry the ONLY full-time, professional repertoire tap company in the world, this production highlights some of the best jazz musicians in Austin!
“Another plus, instead of the three-act traditional production, Of Mice & Music – A Jazz Tap Nutcracker is an hour!” raves Gray. “A perfect length for families. Not to say that you won’t be wanting more…”
“If you’re looking for something Christmas’y with a touch of modern this season, look no further than Tapestry’s production Of Mice & Music! — The Austin American Statesman