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An Orchestra Played "The Nutcracker" While A Group Of Hip-Hop Dancers Slayed It

You won't be nodding off before intermission watching this performance.

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If you thought you couldn't be entertained by ballet music, think again.

The California Philharmonic revived The Nutcracker on Dec. 12 by putting a modern, hip-hop twist on the holiday ballet classic.

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The orchestra's longtime maestro Victor Vener had been exploring new ways to perform The Nutcracker.

Back in July, he thought about bringing in hip-hop dancers to perform the Russian Trepak dance.

"Why don’t we put hip-hop dancers doing pinwheels and doing 21st century street dance instead of the Russians doing 19th century street dance?" he told BuzzFeed News.

The organization's executive director Brandon Dobbins immediately reached out to dancer Cyrus "Glitch" Spencer with Lythgoe Family Productions to collaborate on the performance.

Spencer jumped at the opportunity to choreograph the traditional ballet through animation hip-hop, a form of hip-hop that imitates the movements of cartoon characters.


Spencer then brought on Kevin “Konkrete” Davis and James “B-Dash” Derrick to perform.

Davis and Spencer also previously competed on separate seasons of So You Think You Can Dance?

The group chose four pieces from the ballet: "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies," "The Spanish Dance," "The Chinese Dance," and "The Russian Trepak Dance."

Spencer stayed true to the playful nature of animation hip-hop, but also folded in elements of the traditional Nutcracker.

The crowd of 1,900 at the Pasadena Civic Center seemed to love the performance, laughing and applauding for the dancers throughout. And who wouldn't? This performance was dope AF.

Leticia Miranda is a consumer affairs reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Leticia Miranda at leticia.miranda@buzzfeed.com.

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