Locally grown, nationally known Clara's Dream A Jazz Nutcracker is a big, joyous production. Be a part of the Dream!
HELP BRING BACK THE SWING!
$5,000= one day of venue expenses
$5,000= marketing expenses
$5,000= 1/4 of the artist fees
As an independent artist, producer and creator (along with the collaborators of MaD Theatricals*) of “Clara’s Dream A Jazz Nutcracker” I am answering the call from our loyal fans and bringing this production back to life for an exclusive engagement at the historic Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH (December 17-19, 2009). Created in 2000 and last performed in 2006, locally grown and nationally known “Clara’s Dream” has thrilled audiences from New York to New Hampshire.
“Clara’s Dream” is big production performed with 6 musicians and 20 dancers who come from New York, Boston and throughout New England. The costs of revival are, well, daunting: venue rental, tech & staff, artists fees, costume and set construction and repair, liability insurance...you get the picture. Projected ticket sales will cover only about half of the costs.
• We are partnering with local arts organizations Portsmouth Music & Arts Center, New Hampshire Theatre Project, and Arts Rochester to extend outreach that will include activities for youth an adult jazz ensembles and tap dancers, educational programs and tickets for at-risk youth, underserved families and seniors.
• It has reached over 25,000 audience members in 6 years of touring and been featured in a special BBC documentary about the history of tap dance,
• It has been featured in the National Endowment for the Arts Touring Stories, as well as in a two- part feature story in the International Tap Association’s magazine, and numerous articles in the regional media.
• It has been awarded grants from the New England Foundation on the Arts, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation- Piscataqua Region and with continued support of The Sheraton Harborside Portsmouth.
• School performances have reached over 10,000 school children with a study guide developed by Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center for the Arts.
• In 2004 Clara’s Dream was selected for the ground-breaking Project 3D- Audio Description to reach visually impaired audiences with an audio description of the performance through a collaboration with State of NH Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, VSA Arts NH, and The Music Hall.
* Cast includes legendary tap dance artist Brenda Bufalino; classical tap dancer and Paul Draper protege Dean Diggins; the funky tap groovemaster Josh Hilberman; acclaimed composer and pianist Paul Arslanian; African dancer and drummer Sekou Sylla; Aaron Tolson, Thelma Goldberg, Gay Nardone, Rachel Wadsworth, Christine Hounsell, Heidi Hanson, Jonny Peiffer and many more!
When I first heard the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn jazz version of the Nutcracker, something shifted in my consciousness. I spoke with internationally acclaimed tap artists Brenda Bufalino and Jeannie Hill in New York, and Josh Hilberman in Boston. Everyone was excited at the idea of a jazz and tap rendition of the Nutcracker. Partly it was the idea of forming a collaboration among a small group of dancers and musicians, but what really engaged everyone was the opportunity to use 20th century jazz and tap dance to update a 19th century classical ballet.
"Clara's Dream: A Jazz Nutcracker" is a series of rich gifts. It's a Christmas party and a family nightclub scene featuring, an African drummer and dancer, Irish dancers, jazz and hip-hop dancers, body-percussionists, lindy hoppers and tap dancers. This show doesn't need mice!
The composer, arranger and music director for the show is Paul Arslanian, cofounder and former musical director of Jazz Tap Ensemble. Completing the creative collaborative are tap classicist Dean Diggins, protégé of tap legend Paul Draper, and comedic/eccentric dancer Bob E. Thomas from Boston.
After two years of intensive idea-generation, writing, and rehearsing, "Clara's Dream" became high-voltage reality in December 2000. The cast performed to sold-out houses and standing ovations for 6 years from New York to New Hampshire.
It's a classic coming-of-age story in which Clara, through the magic of jazz, transcends the traditions of her parents to discover her own place in the world. Some of the familiar elements of the Nutcracker remain...with a twist!
Mother and Father provide Clara with a well-heeled and classical background. Auntie Groove, with years of wisdom as a bebopper, provides a role model, encouraging Clara to seek her own path. Uncle Dross provides the magic of fun and transformation. The "Jazz Nut" sets a funky groove.
At the show's heart is Clara with her dilemma: to swing, or not to swing? In her dreams she dances wildly. Finally, tempted by the rhythm to break out, she is held back by the traditional constraints of her father. Guided by her wily Auntie Groove and her clever Uncle Dross, Clara seeks to find her way.
Duke's Place, the setting for the second act, is a magical jazz club where nothing is ever as it seems. Arslanian's swinging 6 piece band blows hot jazz originals of the cool classical Nutcracker themes, including the Spanish, the Arabian, the Chinese, and a sugar-plum Tango. In the night club, Clara watches and waits, enthusiastically joining the incarnation of her Jazz Nutcracker in a rousing tap dance finale.
*MaD Theatricals is a unique collaboration of nationally and internationally celebrated jazz tap artists and musicians under the direction of dancer Drika Overton and musician and composer Paul Arslanian. In addition to "Clara's Dream" they have created "Music Hall Follies: A Vaudeville in 9 Acts" (2007) featuring guest artists Bill Irwin and Fayard Nicholas, and "Off the Beaten Path: A Jazz & Tap Odyssey" (2008).
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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All of the above PLUS a special dinner at my house!
- (86 days)