Mark Morris Dance Group

The Hard Nut

READ THE REVIEWS | World Premiere: January 12, 1991, Brussels, Belgium

Choreographed by Mark Morris

Composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Nutcracker, op.71

Scenic design by Adrianne Lobel Costume design by Martin Pakledinaz Lighting design by James F. Ingalls Production based on the work of Charles Burns Based on the book by E.T.A. Hoffmann, Nutcracker and the Mouse King

READ The Hard Nut synopsis written by Mark Morris, based on the E.T.A. Hoffmann's story
WATCH "The Hard Nut: A Look Back", 10-min documentary on the creation
OWN THE HARD NUT with the Mark Morris Dance Group on DVD.

The Hard Nut has won BEST NUTCRACKER by Viewer's Choice in Ovation TV's Battle of the Nutcrackers three years in a row.

In December 1991, the Mark Morris Dance Group returned to Brussels for encore performances of The Hard Nut, which were filmed live for PBS' Great Performances: Dance in America series. The film features accompaniment from the Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie with Musical Director, Sylvain Cambreling.

Since 2007, The Hard Nut with the Mark Morris Dance Group has been seen on television during the holidays and has been the viewer's choice during Ovation TV's Battle of the Nutcrackers. The DVD, now available online, contains special features such as sections of the production not originally included in the television special due to time restrictions. PURCHASE NOW

The Hard Facts

  • The Hard Nut was the last of 12 pieces Mark Morris choreographed in Brussels, his most ambitious work to date.
  • The Hard Nut has been seen in 6 cities (3 countries)
  • The production includes 116 costume changes
  • The entire Tchaikovsky score is performed with a 48-member orchestra and children's choir of 30
  • There are over 60 set pieces and props
  • Wardrobe includes 30 wigs
  • 48 members in the stage crew, including wardrobe dressers/hair and make-up artists, keep the show running smoothly
  • There are 32 dancers in the show
  • 22 dancers are in in the Waltz of the Snowflakes throwing 20 lbs. of confetti per show
  • 2 elected officials (former New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch at BAM in 1992 and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown in 2002) have played walk-on roles in the party scene.
  • Reigning champion (three years in a row) of OvationTV's Best Nutcracker contest, awarded to the filmed-for-PBS version (from the Dec 1991 Belgian production) by Viewers Choice every holiday season since 2007.

Come back to this page for more on The Hard Nut events and stay informed.

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