Whether you wear a tiara or your comfiest jammies — or both — is up to you. Allen is trying to raise $7 million to build out new facilities. It appears the company’s dancers are doing both. Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker On November 27, Netflix premieres Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.The documentary, from Shondaland—producer of hits like "Grey's Anatomy" and "How to Get Away with Murder"—goes behind the scenes of Debbie Allen's twist on the holiday ballet. She never saw a live production of “The Nutcracker” as a child because she wasn’t allowed inside theaters in what was still a very segregated Houston. Copyright © 2021 Penske Business Media, LLC. Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! “I would love to make a film based on it. But the two women eventually became friends, and Shonda enlisted Debbie to appear on Grey’s Anatomy as Catherine Fox, mother of Jesse Williams’ Jackson Avery. But we have to get some money and do it right.”, In the meantime, Allen is back at work on “Grey’s Anatomy,” which she co-stars in, as well as directs. In the world of ballet itself, it is Debbie Allen's adaptation called 'Hot Chocolate Nutcracker', which has been making waves since it debuted over a decade ago. Episode guide, trailer, review, preview, cast list and where to stream it on demand, on catch up and download. Everyone wears a mask, and a face shield most of the time. “Cheer,” the Netflix docuseries about competitive cheerleading, had a similar feel but “Dance Dreams” is profound. ... Two Sides of Ballet on Netflix. The 'Bachelorette' Couple Is Never Short of Surprises, What Happened to Kate Kane? "That was our real first relationship. Forget The Nutcracker – Netflix are releasing a rather different ballet show ahead of the festive season, following a dance student who uncovers an unsettling secret at her new ballet school. While in attendance, the students learn from a slew of teachers who are tops in their respective fields, like former Houston Ballet principal dancer Lauren Anderson and tap superstar Savion Glover. “There was ‘The Harlem Nutcracker,’ Duke Ellington’s ‘The Chocolate Nutcracker,’ I had worked on a ‘Nutcracker’ that was totally Afrocentric, and I just felt like it was time I needed put my own spice into it,” she said. “Netflix Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker”. The Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker has just arrived on Netflix- I was slightly astonished to say the least, but very happy to see it! Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker is a must-watch this holiday season. DADA has just now started to very cautiously opening classes to just a few students at a time. But it’s a huge production. It turned into being a lot more about me than I would ever have done, but I’m humbled by that. “After two years [Oliver] said, ‘Debbie, we should put this together.’ So we got an editor that helped us put it together,” Debbie explained to EW. And that’s what DADA is going to be. Ibram X. Kendi's Anti-Racism Books to Be Adapted by Netflix, Critics Choice Awards TV Nominations: 'Ozark' and 'The Crown' Lead with 6 Nods Each, 2020 Fall Network TV Schedules: What's Returning, What's New, and What's Canceled on NBC, IndieWire's Chief Film Critic Eric Kohn Picks the Best Movies of 2020 -- Year in Review. I think ‘Dance Dreams’ itself is really all about those kids; these young people, what they’re striving for, their challenges and how they see themselves in the world.”. The 2018 fantasy Christmas themed movie first released in cinemas back in November 2018 to a mixed reception from both fans … Let Us Count the Ways, Here's Why 'Promising Young Woman' Had to End With That Shocking Finale (SPOILERS), Did Clare and Dale Actually Break Up? Othello. “We are built differently, and in the ballet world, you are wanted to be very skinny and fair, as in white. She wanted to tell the story. From Shondaland, “Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” spotlights the career of award-winning entertainer Debbie Allen and follows her group of ingénues as they prepare for Allen’s annual ballet showcase, which is produced via her Los Angeles-based Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA). In “Fame,” the hit 1980s TV series, a 30-something Allen in her breakout role as dance teacher Lydia Grant, tells her students, “You’ve got big dreams? They have to measure up. It would make a glorious movie. “When you think about the New York City Ballet, and where it started, George Balanchine — who co-founded it — created a production of ‘The Nutcracker’ in 1954, as a means to support and fund the company,” Allen said. And it’s wonderful to see these young kids in the room holding their own with these serious professionals.”, The process is quite rigorous, especially for such young, doe-eyed students who range from four and five-year-old preschoolers to teenagers. Interviews with leading film and TV creators about their process and craft. “He said, ‘I’m going to show it to Shonda.’ She’s like, ‘Debbie, I have to have this. So I have high standards and that’s why the production is very professional.”. Misty Copeland and Lauren Anderson broke that mold. It offers a comprehensive dance curriculum to mostly youth of color, regardless of financial status. Olivia Tang-Mifsud and ensemble in The Joffrey Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.”Photo by Cheryl Mann. For her part, Debbie thinks the documentary represents an inspirational story. Why couldn’t he be Romeo? “If you go to see the New York City Ballet, they have adults performing all the principal parts, with kids that would just get up and run across the stage. So, here we are.”, Don’t expect just any old rendition of the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky ballet. You may recognize her from her role as Catherine Avery in the fan-favorite show, Grey’s Anatomy.Allen is also a well-renowned dancer and choreographer that is idolized within the … “I think viewers will see a reflection of themselves and young people will be inspired to dance and also face any challenges because that’s what this is about,” she said. “The ballet world has always been very specific, elitist, and not very inclusive,” said Allen, who decided to open DADA in 2001 after her 13-year-old daughter, dancer and actress Vivian Nixon, told her that she didn’t feel embraced and supported while at The Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C. “There are mountains to leap over for Black kids,” she said. Join Netflix as they follow the rendition of The Nutcracker ballet at Debbie Allen Dance Academy called Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.. Debbie Allen is well rounded within all aspects of the entertainment industry. Now, a Netflix documentary is set to show what goes into making 'Hot Chocolate Nutcracker' by the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Garth Brooks Is Playing at Joe Biden's Inauguration — Is He a Democrat. “Our relationship was purely dance master, mother-daughter,” Debbie told Entertainment Weekly. Tchaikovsky’s score for the original 1892 “Nutcracker” is one of his most famous compositions. The “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” is the academy’s holiday extravaganza and biggest fundraiser — a modern, culturally-inclusive take on “The Nutcracker” written and directed by Allen. Tickets are on sale for “Nutcracker Sweets,” Houston Ballet’s new on-demand holiday show, which streams Dec. 15-Jan. 8. “Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” is now streaming on Netflix. So we still have a ways to go.”, Allen said she wrote the original script for “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” in about three weeks, and then sought the expertise of some of her favorite “world class” composers, dancers, choreographers, production and costume designers, including Arturo Sandoval, James Ingram, Wally Minko, Timm Burrow, Karen McDonald, Evan Williams, Kevin Harris, Chantel Heath, and her son, Norman Nixon Jr., who she fondly refers to as “Thump.”, But she was very involved in all aspects of the creative process in bringing the show to life. “It had already been done in Russia, but it was his production of it that made it hugely popular in America. Directed by Oliver Bokelberg. And it was Shonda who encouraged Oliver Bokelberg, another DADA parent and a producer and director on the Shondaland drama Scandal, to turn his video recordings of rehearsals at the academy into a polished documentary. We’re happy to report, however, that Netflix viewers will still get a chance to watch the academy’s talented Hot Chocolate Nutcracker dancers, thanks to a new Netflix documentary from executive producer Shonda Rhimes. Desmond Richardson, amazing, but what role did they give him to play? The cast includes Anna-Rose O’Sullivan as Clara, Marcelino Sambe as the Nutcracker/Nephew, Marianela Nunez as … I want this.’ I stepped back because I’m the director and the creator and the choreographer of the stage production. "Rehearsed for just over three months, The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker has become a staple holiday performance in Los Angeles and the largest fundraising event on the school’s calendar.”, Shonda and Debbie first connected years ago, when the TV producer brought her daughter to train at the dance academy. Allen is very well aware that this version of the ballet classic would not have been possible when she was growing up. Her annual youth production is an energized remix of The Nutcracker, featuring hip hop, … I thought she deserved anonymity. That guest-starring gig led to Debbie’s current role as a recurring actor, director, and executive producer of the ABC medical drama. 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Ballet dancers are normally busy this time of year with various productions of The Nutcracker, but they are not able to be because theaters are still closed.So this December, ballet … Especially young people who have never seen themselves in this particular world.”. The film, which started streaming on the platform on Nov. 27, “offers front row access to the grueling rehearsals, the passion and leadership of Allen and DADA’s dance instructors, and the huge commitment and undertaking by the dancers of all ages and backgrounds who come to train at the academy each year regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances or traditional expectations of the dance community,” Netflix added. Background "The Nutcracker" ballet was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1892. She isn’t the first to revamp the original work; the popularity of “The Nutcracker” has led to adaptations that reflect geography and specific traditions. It’s going to be called the The Rhimes Center of the Performing Arts, that houses the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.”. We have medical experts on set. Everyone is being very responsible.”, And as Allen sees it, with the pandemic shoving live performances into the virtual world for much of this year, “Dance Dreams” underscores one of the reasons dance can’t be allowed to slip away: The classes and rehearsals that lead up to the show are about much more than learning new steps. “I always participated to some degree, and I staged quite a bit throughout,” she said. Find out when Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker is on TV. The American Ballet Theatre performs Tchaikovsky's classic Christmas ballet, "The Nutcracker Suite." And, against the backdrop of a global pandemic, as the academy’s key fundraiser, the documentary turned out to be exactly what the school needed in 2020, because it couldn’t stage its live shows. But in order to reach a wider audience, Allen does think a film adaptation of the show is possible. Allen’s academy operates as an architect of change in a racist world. Hoffmann. “We’ve borrowed money, we have raised money, but we are going to make it happen because this is the legacy for these young people and for our community,” Allen said. “I think this documentary is going to open up a whole new world of what could happen,” she said. Following the plot of the novel, Tiny Pretty Things (which premieres on Netflix on December 14th) tells the story of a group of aspiring ballerinas at the Archer School of Ballet, the elite company school for Chicago’s more renowned ballet company, City Works Ballet. But in our Nutcracker, although we have professionals and teachers playing some of the roles, the kids are the stars.”. One of the most obvious ways to try to capture the feeling of watching the ballet live is to try to find a performance of The Nutcracker on TV or one of the many, many streaming services. “We’ve been asked to travel with it. "It's the first ballet on Netflix and, hopefully, just the start. And maybe there will be more schools that will be created because that’s what kids need.”, Shonda Rhimes Talks About Leaving ABC for New Netflix Deal, Here's the Real Reason Patrick Dempsey Left 'Grey's Anatomy' Five Years Ago, How Are 'Station 19' and 'Grey's Anatomy' Connected? “It’s just been an incredible collaboration with all the people that participate annually. With Amy Acker, Sascha Radetsky, Sophia Lucia, Catherine Mary Stewart. Unfortunetely, the Disney Christmas title The Nutcracker and the Four Realms in favor of another streaming service in November 2020.. “I’m tested three times a week. The Houston-born dance icon and her husband Norm Nixon have operated the non-profit DADA for 20 years. Dance Dreams - Hot Chocolate Nutcracker review: Debbie Allen inspires the next generation to dream big in Netflix's intimate documentary. As a parent, I didn’t even hardly speak to Shonda for the first year. ‘Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker’: Netflix Explores Debbie Allen’s Inclusive Ballet Classic ENTERTAINMENT . c. Courtesy of Netflix/2020. The inspirational feature focuses on the icon's ethos. The ballet was inspired by "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," published in 1815 by the German author E.T.A. “It’s wonderful for audiences to see the Fairy Queen as a beautiful Black ballerina that flies onto the stage, which is something that young people will never forget. Royal Ballet principal Yasmine Naghdi had been gearing up to star as the Sugarplum Fairy in a December livestream performance of The Nutcracker when London went back into heavy COVID-19 restrictions. “We deserve a proper place, an oasis of art in our community. But none exists at moment, except for clips here and there. Every year, students at Debbie Allen Dance Academy perform a genre-busting, cutting edge rendition of The Nutcracker ballet called Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. Go behind the scenes of The Joffrey Ballet’s 2016 production of The Nutcracker in the original documentary film Making A New American Nutcracker.This new production, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, was inspired by the 1893 World’s Fair that took place in Chicago. As audiences are quarantined, a streaming recording of the full “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker” show would likely be desired in this particular moment. Stream it between Dec. 19 and Jan. 1, 2021, starting at $25. Well, fame costs. You will be redirected back to your article in, Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox. And right here is where you start paying, in sweat.”, At 70 years old, with real world stakes, Allen demands a similar kind of dedication from her students. Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Why couldn’t he be the prince in ‘Swan Lake’? Netflix’s ‘Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker‘ follows the students at the Debbe Allen Dance Academy as they perform a genre-busting and cutting edge rendition of the famed “Nutcracker” ballot.This series follows Allen as they prepare for the main showstopping event. Debbie Allen with Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) dancers in Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. "Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker" is a Netflix documentary that spotlights Allen's career and follows her group of dance students as they prepare for … Young Clara (Gelsey Kirkland) falls fast asleep on Christmas Eve and dreams of fantastic and whimsical characters, including the Mouse King (Marcos Paredes) and the dashing Prince (Mikhail Baryshnikov). “We’re 10 weeks in and still going strong, so we feel confident that we’ll get through the end of this season,” she said. In the Netflix series Tiny Pretty Things follows a young, Black dancer named Neveah Stroyer who is the new girl at the elite Archer Academy. The first project released from Shonda’s producing deal with Netflix, Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker "shines a light on the work of trailblazing icon Debbie Allen and her reimagining of the classic ballet performed annually by the gifted students of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA)," Netflix said. “The Nutcracker brand is just so familiar to people,” Hot Chocolate Nutcracker executive producer Norman Nixon, Debbie’s husband, said in the film, per Shondaland. Directed by Michael Lembeck. Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. Like other yearly traditions, the annual Hot Chocolate Nutracker performance got preempted in 2020. Boston Ballet The Nutcracker November 28 - December 25 Plus: Tune in to BB@yourhome: The Gift, a program featuring new works choreographed by seven Boston Ballet dancers set … Hoffman titled, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” As the holiday season fast approaches, our attention turns to the Christmas content coming soon to Netflix and what will be available. On November 2, Disney’s Christmas movie, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, appeared for the first time in theatres in the United States.This is a modern telling of the story contained in Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, The Nutcracker.The ballet itself is based on an 1816 short story by E.T.A. You want fame? With “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker,” Allen decided to give it her own fresh, multicultural spin, incorporating tap, jazz and hip-hop, and Latin American music. The Nutcracker Ballet is a holiday tradition for dancers and theater-lovers alike each holiday season. Here's the Real Reason Ruby Rose Left 'Batwoman' (SPOILERS). I let this become what she thought it should be. “That’s why training in the arts is valuable. But when you look at it historically, there were not many Black people in it.”. Nutcracker will appear on Netflix next Christmas (Image: Reuters) "I'm really thrilled about that," Kevin grins. Behind-the-scenes at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and their award-winning version of The Nutcracker, which blends a variety of dance traditions. Its score was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the performance choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, three of Russia's greatest artists of their era. Instead, the Debbie Allen Dance Academy hosted a drive-in fundraising gala at the Rose Bowl on Nov. 14. I thought she deserved to just be her daughter’s mother.”. This Article is related to: Television and tagged Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, Debbie Allen, Grey's Anatomy, Netflix. The first project released from Shonda’s producing deal with Netflix, Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker "shines a light on the work of trailblazing icon Debbie Allen and her reimagining of the classic ballet performed annually by the gifted students of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA)," Netflix … He and producer Shonda Rhimes are both parents of DADA students. When her niece is cast in The Philadelphia Ballet's production of the Nutcracker, a jaded ex-ballerina is forced to come to terms with the life and love she left behind. All rights reserved. “Dealing with kids, I’m tough on them because I’m trying to get them ready for what’s out there,” she said. Netflix capitalized on interest in The Nutcracker this season when it released two programs about ballet just before the holidays. “A world that is not going to just love them or let them get away with things. Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. Directed by Oliver Bokelberg the documentary, which is now streaming on Netflix, follows Allen, her staff, students, and extended family as they prepare for what has become a beloved local tradition that stars more than 200 children and a few professional actors, including Allen herself. She founded it after one of the nation’s top ballet schools told her daughter, Vivian Nixon, she did not have the right body type for ballet. Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. With Kylie Jefferson, Debbie Allen, Tichina Arnold, Ryan Phuong. “Where there used to be 40 students at a time, now there might be six or eight,” Allen said. For “Dance Dreams,” director Bokelberg began filming in 2016. In the 1960s, as a pre-teen, the Houston Ballet Foundation’s academy rejected her, but eventually gave her a scholarship some years later when it needed to diversify as required by a Ford Foundation grant. 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