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The Motown Nutcracker…


Who– Legacy Dance Studio, LLC; Crystall White Winkler, Director

What– The Motown Nutcracker is a soulful twist on the original production of the traditional Nutcracker, incorporating songs from classic Motown favorites like Marvin Gaye’s “Purple Snowflakes” & “Mr. Sandman,” Diana Ross’s “…My Favorite Things” & “Joy to the World,” Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of a Clown” & “Mickey’s Monkey,” Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street” and many, many others. It goes without saying that The Motown Nutcracker could not be complete without the sweet and soulful sounds of the Legendary Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin. Although technically not on the Motown label, Ms. Franklin’s very existence personifies the heart and spirit of Detroit and this story would be incomplete without the inclusion of The Queen of Soul. The Motown Nutcracker will warm your heart, take you on a trip down memory lane and have you dancing in your seat wishing you were a part of the magic happening on the stage! It’s a must-see for the entire family, a brand new classic for the soul!

When– Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, 7PM & Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, 1PM

Where– Seaholm High School Auditorium, 2436 West Lincoln, Birmingham, MI 48009

Why the MNC is Special… Almost everyone identifies with the story of the traditional Nutcracker which tells the story of Clara and her beloved Nutcracker Prince. For well over a decade, since 1995, Crystall Winkler, the director of Legacy Dance Studio, LLC has had the story of the Motown Nutcracker in her head and dreamed of using the knowledge of the traditional Nutcracker as a primer or backdrop, (if you will), for showcasing the immense musical virtuosity we have here in Detroit. Her vision has been to present this story in a much different framework; one that incorporates Christ, Soul, Love, and Family…telling the same story in a very unique and distinctive way.

There are many renditions and interpretations of the familiar story of The Nutcracker (i.e., The Harlem Nutcracker, the Urban Nutcracker, The Chocolate Nutcracker, The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, etc…) but, “The Motown Nutcracker” has never been created, anywhere in the world, nor has it been produced with such a theme that directly depicts the flavor and essence of Motown. In the Motown Nutcracker, you will find characters like Diana (Clara), Michael (Fritz), Uncle Sammy (Uncle Drosslemyer), King Stax Soul Maker (King Rat), the Supreme Soul Fairy (Sugar Plum Fairy) and many others. The Classical component of the story remains intact and the neoclassical musical numbers, which incorporate tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, hip hop and tumbling, are sure to entertain!

The Story of the Motown Nutcracker…

The Nutcracker Ballet is based on the story “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice” written by E.T.A. Hoffman. The basic plot of the traditional Nutcracker tells the story of a young German girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a fierce battle against a Mouse King with seven heads arises in her dream.

When Marius Petipa had the idea to choreograph the story into a ballet, it was actually based on a revision by Alexander Dumas, a well-known French author. His version reflects more of what we have come to love as the Nutcracker Ballet. The music of the Nutcracker Ballet was composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky who dedicated his life to music.

The Motown Nutcracker tells the story of a young girl from Detroit, Diana, who after a long night of celebrating Christmas Eve with family and friends, falls asleep and dreams of a Motown Nutcracker Prince and a fierce battle against a rival record label mogul, King Stax Soul Maker ensues. King Stax has an army of Spindle Spiders who attack Diana and her Motown Nutcracker Prince in an attempt to silence the Motown Dynasty; and later they journey through a forest of Purple Snowflakes and arrive in The Land of Motown for a festival of dances in their honor.



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