With more than a dash of simulated coitus by a cast of hot, limber ballet dancers.
The last Nutcracker you saw likely involved a few oversized rat costumes, a precocious little girl, and a decent amount of full coverage white spandex. As far as sexy holiday activities, it ranked somewhere between eggnog-induced bloating an ugly holiday sweater party.
Nutcracker Rouge will wipe away your lukewarm feelings for Christmas ballets past. A Company XIV production at New York’s downtown Minetta Lane Theatre, it’s one part ballet, one part burlesque, and three parts OMG-what-is-that-hottie-doing-with-his-body? Basically, if this show doesn’t turn you on you might be a reptile.
How does one sex-up a classic ballet about a little girl, her toy nutcracker, and a dreamy escape to world full of candy? Well for starters, make it super French. Like, old school 18th century French with tousled wigs, stark make-up, and a lot of thongs. Oh, and pasties. Glittery ones.
Not only is the stage free of dancing munchkins, kids under sixteen aren’t allowed in the audience. The wooden doll obsessed Clara is replaced here by Marie-Claire Antoinette, who is (of course) obsessed with wood of a different variety. Like Clara, Marie-Claire gets swept away to a land of ‘sweets.’ Except the candy on offer is a parade of limber, more than half-naked dancers and circus performers, whose erotic performances leave jaws on the floor for more reason than one.
There’s ‘Turkish delight,’ a caramel colored Adonis who puts Olympic gymnasts to shame, and not just because he performs in little more than a decorative thong. There’s a peppermint themed dance by a gravity defying, scantily clad ballerina, who does more with a hula-hoop than you ever thought possible. There’s a black liquorish themed all-male S&M dance battle. You get the idea.
As for the evening’s climax—three words: conga line orgy.
Conceived, directed and choreographed by Austin McCormick, with a script adapted and written by Jeff Takacs, Nutcracker Rouge runs at New York City’s Minetta Lane Theatre through January 5th. And if this doesn't give you some, ahem, holiday cheer, then nothing will.
Images via Phillip Van Nostrand