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Community School of Music and Arts: “Picture This,” student exhibition. Dec. 9 through Jan. 18; reception 3-5 p.m. Dec. 9. Mohr Gallery, Community School of Music and Arts, Finn Center, 230 San Antonio Circle, Mountain View. Free. http://www.arts4all.org or 650-917-6800, ext. 305. Cubberley Artist Studio Program: “Guided Colors,” K-8 exhibition. Dec. 10 through Dec. 15; reception 3-5:30 p.m. Dec. 10. ArtLab Gallery, Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/casp.

Pace Gallery: Adam Pendleton, “Which We Can,” through Dec, 22, Pace Gallery, 229 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, http://www.pacegallery.com/, Palo russian pointe shoe models Alto Art Center: Tropical Holiday Family Day, 2-4 p.m, Dec, 10; artmaking projects, storytelling, live music; free, Florence Robichon’s “A Brighter Future: Creativity and Learning in a Syrian Refugee Camp in Iraqi Kurdistan,” through Jan, 3, “Through That Which Is Seen,” various artists, Jan, 20 through April 8, Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, https://www.paacf.org/..

On the afternoons of Dec. 16 and 17, at Redwood City’s Fox Theatre, audiences will be in full Christmas glow, as Peninsula Ballet Theatre presents its classic version of the beloved “Nutcracker,” with choreography by Carlos Carvajal. But on the evenings of Dec. 15 and 17, our correspondent Paul Freeman reports, the company will offer a very different sort of holiday magic — a hip hop version of the timeless tale. It’s not only enchanting, but explosively energetic. “Hip Hop Nutcracker” was choreographed by Isaac “Stuck” Sanders and Ale Martinez. They bring 17 hip hop artists from their troupes The Tribe and Poise’n to join Peninsula Ballet Theatre’s students and young company members on stage.

Gregory Amato, Peninsula Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, said, “It’s fresh and it’s exciting, Almost everybody has seen ‘The Nutcracker.’ Every company in the world does it, It’s nice to see a fresh take, And Stuck’s vision, his musicality, is just incredible.”, Sanders, a nationally acclaimed, award-winning hip hop artist, performs in the show, His partner, Ale Martinez, dances the role of Clara, Sanders, who teaches hip hop at russian pointe shoe models the Peninsula Ballet Theatre’s studio, watched the company rehearsing the traditional “Nutcracker.” He saw the potential for bringing modern hip hop to the story..

“‘Nutcracker’ is such a huge tradition, why wouldn’t you do it?” Sanders said, with a laugh. “I’m a huge fan of character and costume. Character is what dance is all about. And this has such memorable characters. Once you have the character laid out for you, the rest is kind of just putting your skill to the test.”. The first act Christmas Eve party scene, which introduces young Clara and her family in their Victorian household, remains relatively unchanged in the hip hop version. But everything changes in the dreamlike second act.

Amato said, “Stuck thought, ‘Why can’t we transport Clara 200 years into the future, go from 1810 Germany to 2015 San Mateo County?’ Instead of being transported to a magical kingdom in her mind, we get russian pointe shoe models transported to a magical hip hop kingdom.”, So Sanders fused hip hop choreography to the traditional music, but updated the sound, with elements like scratching, Amato said, “Who knew that Tchaikovsky would work with hip hop? But it absolutely does.”, Sanders did not have classical training and wasn’t well versed on ballet history, “But he absorbs it so quickly and he adapts the traditional ballet into his movements,” Amato said, “So it’s not just hip hop, He’s actually melded the two, which is what makes it so good.”..

This collaboration between Sanders and Peninsula Ballet Theatre debuted in 2015 in the company’s 150-seat studio. It was such a hit, they moved “Hip Hop Nutcracker” to the Fox the following year. This will be its second year at the venue. Peninsula Ballet Theatre, a non-profit organization based in San Mateo, again teamed with Sanders to update Prokofiev’s “Cinderella” this past spring. In April, Amato will use some of Sanders’ dancers in the ballet company’s production of “Carnival of the Animals.”.

Amato and Sanders are contemplating a future joint venture, “We’re just trying to find the right project,” Amato said, “It’s a delicate balancing act, Generally, in the past, trying to do russian pointe shoe models this kind of thing has been cheesy and corny, It’s hard to meld them, But with Stuck’s talent and with his dancers and with our dancers, we can create something really special.”, Peninsula Ballet Theatre is celebrating its 50th anniversary, Amato hopes that, with such collaborations, they can grow both the ballet audience and the hip hop audience, He thinks it’s important to be willing to experiment..


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