Photo: AP
Universal message. 'The Nutcracker' (archives)
Photo: AP
Tchaikovsky classic gets kosher twist
San Francisco dance company puts very modern, Jewish spin on ballet performed across globe over holiday season
VIDEO – A San Francisco dance company has put a very modern and Jewish spin on a ballet performed across the globe over the holiday season. It was set to a score composed by Tchaikovsky more than 100 years ago, yet this nutcracker is unlike any other.


Set in modern-day San Francisco, the "Jewish Nutcracker" starts with a girl named Miriam who is more interested in texting her friends than in the family Hanukkah party.


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Artistic Director Katy Alanis Rous says the idea for the "Jewish Nutcracker" came to her three years ago as she was reading a Hanukkah storybook to her son Amitai. They both dance in this production.


The story follows Miriam from the family Hanukkah party to a dream in which she witnesses the battle fought by Judas Maccabee, and the reconstruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.


About a third of the dancers in the production are Jewish.


The classic "Nutcracker" takes place at a Christmas party with a famous fairy. This "Jewish Nutcracker" has its own sweet fairy appropriate for a Hanukkah story.


Rous says this production has a universal message about overcoming the odds.


“The story itself is a Jewish story, the story of the rebellion of the Maccabees overthrowing the Syrian-Greek Army because of their soul, because of their passion and because of their dedication. Not because they were a trained army.


"I think that’s a really important message to give to our kids – that you can stand up for what you believe in and you can succeed.”



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