What Is America's Favorite Nutcracker?

December 1, 2016

Every December, the dance world comes together to celebrate the holidays (and be perpetually exhausted) during Nutcracker season. There are countless productions across America and beyond, and today the tradition even spans genre. But which of the many Nutcrackers is America’s favorite?

For ten years now, Goldstar has been asking audiences to vote on the Goldstar Annual Nutcracker Award. This year, 80 shows across the country have been nominated.

Nominees include everything from major ballet companies to small town studios to genre bending shows. Here are some of the most unique choices:

Nutz Re-Mixed

San Jose, CA

Tandy Beal & Company’s quirky production includes music from a live a cappella group and performances by Cirque de Soleil soloists.

Urban Nutcracker

Austell, GA

Ballet Ethnic describes their production as “what The Wiz was to The Wizard of Oz.” Set in Georgia in the 40s, the show brings a soulful twist to the classic story.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker

Various cities

A live DJ remixes Tchaikovsky’s classic score for this production, set in a New York City nightclub and featuring a cast of hip hop dancers.

A Bur-Less-Q Nutcracker

Addison, TX

This production isn’t exactly G-rated. The storyline of the Beulaville Baptist Book Club’s show involves a group of book club ladies who try to put on a Nutcracker production, but must turn to a burlesque troupe when the cast of ballet dancers falls ill.

The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

Los Angeles, CA

Debbie Allen Dance Academy’s take on the story uses contemporary music from Mariah Carey, Arturo Sandoval, James Ingram and more, plus narration from three whimsical mice.

Nutcracker (not so) Suite

Minneapolis, MN

James Sewell Ballet stars in this production, which goes back to E.T.A. Hoffman’s original Nutcracker story to present a grittier tale.

Of course, more traditional options like American Ballet Theatre’s quirky but classical production by Alexei Ratmansky and Balanchine’s iconic take are also represented. The Joffrey Ballet (already three-time winners!) is nominated again this year—but this time for its brand new production by Christopher Wheeldon.

So get cracking! To vote, attend a performance and rate it on Goldstar’s website. May the best Nut win!