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'A Culture Shock Nutcracker' Mixes Genres and Gets Rid of Stuffy Traditions

Tchaikovsky's original score is the only thing classical about Culture Shock San Diego's annual hit


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Tchaikovsky’s original score is the only thing classical about A Culture Shock Nutcracker. Staged by over 100 performers from the nonprofit hip-hop dance troupe Culture Shock San Diego, next month’s fifth annual show will once again flip the holiday favorite on its head—possibly break dancing along the way—with contemporary music and pop culture references to the tunes of Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars, and David Bowie’s Labyrinth.

In addition to reimagined characters, like Clara’s parents being a same-sex couple and an aerialist subbing in as a mechanical doll, the show knows no bounds for mixing dance genres. Tap, hip-hop, krump, and other street styles are all represented in the repertoire. Stuffy traditions, begone!

January 5–7, Spreckels Theatre, Downtown

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