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Kurtis Blow headed to Chicago with ‘The Hip Hop Nutcracker!’

What is a better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop than to have the “Founding Father” of Hip-Hop, Kurtis Blow, featured in the holiday hit “The Hip Hop Nutcracker.”

The production takes the 130-year-old Tchaikovsky classical ballet we all know and associate with the Christmas holiday, and reimagines it as a contemporary holiday dance spectacle so that the whole family can enjoy the story in a new way.

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Kurtis Blow

I had the opportunity to speak with one of my favorite rappers and all-around artist, Kurtis Blow, about his part in the production and why he feels it is such a success.  I asked him how he became involved with the “Hip Hop Nutcracker,” and he told me that 11 years ago, a friend came to one of his shows who knew about this new production, for which he thought Kurtis would be great as the MC.

Kurtis told me when he went to check out a rehearsal it blew him away. “I opened my eyes and I saw these young people, all-star dancers doing break dancing to classical music, and they had a DJ who was cutting up doing powerful Hip-Hop beats under Tchaikovsky’s classical music. Right then and there I said I had to be a part of this.”

The show was created 13 years ago by Emmy winner Jennifer Weber who also directs and choreographed the show, and writer Mike Fitelson. It’s produced by three-time Tony winner Eva Price.

The show is amazing, and the all-star dancers are phenomenal. It doesn’t take away from the classical version but enhances it by adding that flavor of Hip-Hop.

I asked Kurtis which came first, Rap or Hip-Hop.  He explained it in a profound way to me, “Hip-Hop is the mother who birthed many children. It is our culture. Think about a table. Hip-Hop is the table, but the table can’t stand without legs. Rap is the oldest and strongest leg; the other ‘children’ that Hip-Hop have given birth to make up the other legs. It’s all a part of the culture.”

“The Hip Hop Nutcracker” will be at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theater from December 12 to December 17. It is truly a holiday dance spectacle you don’t want to miss.

Before I said goodbye to Kurtis Blow, in case you didn’t know: He had the first certified gold record in Rap, in 1980 for “The Breaks,” and recorded the first rap Christmas holiday song, “Christmas Rappin,” and was the first rapper signed by a major label, in 1979. Kurtis is truly a Hip-Hop Pioneer.

Until next time keep your EYE to the sky!

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