Works: The Hard Nut
December 15, 2010
A Suite That Cracks the Tchaikovsky Code
By: Robert Greskovic for Wall Street Journal
'The Hard Nut," Mark Morris's two-act dance set to Tchaikovsky's score for "The Nutcracker," was born in 1991. The choreographer was just completing a high-profile stint as artistic director of dance at Brussels' Théâtre de la Monnaie and, as he recently told Time Out New York, he wanted to take a crack at a "big new piece."
Once Mr. Morris decided on a title—after the tale-within-the-tale from "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" (1816) by E.T.A. Hoffmann—he settled on the aesthetic of Charles Burns, an American graphic artist known for the chilly elegance that distinguishes his comic-book images of fantasy and horror for such works as the Hoffmanesque "Big Baby."