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Mark Morris's "The Hard Nut" Opens at BAM for First New York Performances in Eight Years

Mark Morris Dance Group "The Hard Nut" perf shot

The Hard Nut, Mark Morris's 1991 retelling of the classic tale of The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann, returns to New York for the first time in eight years, with an eight-performance run at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, starting tonight. The Mark Morris Dance Group, now celebrating its 30th anniversary, will by joined by the MMDG Music Ensemble with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, conducted by Robert Cole. It's part of BAM's 2010 Next Wave Festival, which began back in September with performances of Laurie Anderson's Delusion.

The Mark Morris Dance Group first performed The Hard Nut in Brussels in January 1991 and returned in December of that year for encore performances of the piece at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, 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. The DVD, released on Nonesuch in 2007, includes deleted scenes and a new, exclusive look behind the scenes with Mark Morris. It is available in the Nonesuch Store for just $16.74 as part of the store's 3rd anniversary sale on all CDs, LP, and DVDs.

The New York Times's Roslyn Sulcas, in a preview of the BAM performances, says of The Hard Nut: "Mr. Morris creates a marvelously musical, choreographically ingenious response to Tchaikovsky’s great score that has its own magic and speaks its own truths about the nature of love. To improve matters even further Mr. Morris, a fabulous performer, will be onstage nightly in one guise or another." Read more at The choreographer spoke with the Times's Julie Bloom about The Hard Nut for an interview you'll also find at

Time Out New York, which has selected it as a Critics' Pick for the week, says: "Morris has created a wonderful modern-dance alternative to the classical-ballet version—every bit as luminous and just as musical. It's funny and gorgeous." Read more at

For more information on this week's performances, visit


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