Shchelkunchik

This year Suchu Dance gives dance fans an exciting alternate to the traditional Nutcracker with Shchelkunchik. It’s a contemporary dance interpretation of the original version of the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, but one that’s so twisted and complicated it reeks of absurdity. Unlike its ballet counterpart, this Nutcracker is true to its time period. “The movement sources are from old films of dance from the late 1800s up to the 1920s,” says Jennifer Wood, artistic director and choreographer for Suchu Dance. “Some of those, you don’t have to do anything to them to make them hilarious.”

Here’s just a tiny segment of the original tale, according to Wood: When the princess tries to exterminate mice in her house, the Mouse Queen casts a curse of ugliness upon her. The cure? Find Prince Charming, who will crack a magic nut — the original Nutcracker! — and feed it to the princess. But things get strange. Somehow, the prince catches the princess’s ugly and the Mouse Queen gets stepped on. “We’re going for the laughs,” Wood says. 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday. Barnevelder Movement/Arts Center, 2201 Preston. For information, call 713-529-1819 or visit www.suchudance.org. $17 to $20.
Dec. 1-4, 2011

 
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