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See traditional, hip-hop 'Nutcracker' in York

“The Nutcracker” and hip hop.

The two go together, right?

Well, not traditionally. But this year, Greater York Dance artistic director Lori Pergament, who has staged “The Nutcracker Ballet” for the last 17 years, wanted to do something a little “funky.”

In 2006, she and German foreign exchange student and hip-hop dancer Niko Wirachman started writing “The Hip Nut,” a multi-cultural version of “The Nutcracker” that takes place in 2015.

“We created ‘The Hip Nut’ to have a more wide appeal and to reach out to participants beyond people who study ballet,” Pergament said.

But it wasn’t until this year – thanks to a Creative Impact Award grant from the Cultural Alliance of York County – that Pergament and Wirachman could afford to bring their work to life.

Wirachman, who is now a professional performer and actor in Germany, returned to York in June to help Pergament choreograph the production that includes both old-school and new-school hip hop, jazz, contemporary, salsa and even Bollywood music and dancing.

“The Hip Nut” – which will be narrated in poetry rap form by York Poet Laureate Carla Christopher – opens with Clara window shopping with her girlfriends as a fight breaks out in the street, Pergament said. The production includes a lot of street dancing and hip hop before Clara meets her prince and falls in love.

“It’s parallel (to “The Nutcracker), but it’s a very unique story,” Pergament said.

After months of rehearsals with 75-100 performers, some of whom had never taken a formal dance class before, the cast will perform at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center Dec. 5.

“The goal … is to help unite dancers, non-dancers, street dancers, street musicians, more than one art form together in a production,” Pergament said. “It’s very much about uniting a lot of talented artists.”

For those interested in a more traditional holiday show, the Midstate Ballet of Greater York Dance will also perform “The Nutcracker Ballet” to the music of Tchaikovsky the following weekend with about 100 performers ranging in age from 4 to adults.

This Victorian version of “The Nutcracker,” written by E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816, will feature performers from all walks of life, including students, school principals and attorneys as well as several professional guest artists.

Greater York Dance ballet faculty member Eurosphyne (Renee) Avery will dance the lead role of the Sugar Plum Fairy alongside the former principal dancer of Texas Ballet Theatre Eddy Tovar. And Northeastern High School freshman Sofia Herbst will dance alongside Dallas Metropolitan Ballet dancer Shea Johnson, as the Snow Queen and Snow King.

“It’s really nice that Greater York Dance can bring professionals in and give us a chance to have the opportunity to dance with a professional,” said Herbst, who has been performing “The Nutcracker” since she was 6. “I look at (Johnson) as a teacher, and I’ve learned so much.”

If you go:

What: “The Hip Nut”

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5

Where: Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, 50 N. George St., York

Tickets: $20

More information: Visit

What: “The Nutcracker”

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13

Where: Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, 50 N. George St., York

Tickets: $15-$33 for children, $19-$45 for adults

More information: Visit

More holiday theater shows to see:

“A Christmas Story”

Watch Ralphie’s desperate quest to ensure he’ll see a Red Ryder BB gun under the tree on Christmas morning in this holiday comedy musical. The show is recommended for ages 6 and up.

Details: Nov. 12-Dec. 31 at Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, 510 Centerville Road, Lancaster. Tickets range from $19-$56. Visit for more information.


Buddy the Elf embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, remove his dad off the naughty list and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas in this 21st century holiday tradition.

Details: Select dates and times Nov. 15-Jan. 3 at Fulton Theatre, 12 N. Prince St., Lancaster. Ticket prices vary. Visit for more information.

“White Christmas”

Based on the classic holiday film, this musical follows veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis who follow a duo of singing sisters to a Vermont lodge, owned by their former army commander. Expect to hear favorite songs like “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano” and “White Christmas.”

Details: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20-21 and 27-28, 3 p.m. Nov. 22 and 29 and 2 p.m. Nov. 28 at York Little Theatre, 27 S. Belmont St., York. Tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors 62 and up, $20 for students 13 and up, $12 for children 12 and under. Visit for more information.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

Find out if the town will survive after a group of ornery kids take over the annual Christmas pageant in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson.

Details: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 at DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre, 100 Carlisle Ave., York. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $14 for reserved seating. Visit for more information.

“The Nutcracker”

Tony Award-winning conductor Stuart Malina will lead the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker.”

Details: 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20 at Hershey Theatre, 15 E. Caracas Ave., Hershey. Tickets range from $28-$51 for children 12 and under and $33-$51 for adults. Visit for more information.