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Tutus & Technology: Nutcracker Hacked by Brooklyn Ballet's video poster
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Brooklyn Ballet updates a holiday classic by costuming dancers in motion sensor technology by local hacker collective. Read more

Brooklyn, NY Dance
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This project was successfully funded on April 9, 2014.

Brooklyn Ballet updates a holiday classic by costuming dancers in motion sensor technology by local hacker collective.

Brooklyn, NY Dance
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About this project

In its mission to Brooklyn-ize The Nutcracker, a holiday classic, Brooklyn Ballet brings in street and modern dancers, infuses African dance styles and sets its multicultural, intergenerational cast on Flatbush Avenue. Building The Brooklyn Nutcracker in installments allows Artistic and Founding Director Lynn Parkerson to explore new innovations and collaborate with new artistic partners during Brooklyn Ballet's home performance season.

The Doll Dance from Nutcracker with Mike Supreme and Miku Kawamura
The Doll Dance from Nutcracker with Mike Supreme and Miku Kawamura

This season's focus is the iconic Snow scene and Drosselmeyer 1.0, and the talented collaborators are popping artist Mike "Supreme" Fields, costume designer Avram Finkelstein of YMX by Yellowman and Nick Vermeer and Bill Ward of hacker collective NYC Resistor. In a true wonderland of possibilities, Lynn, Avram and Nick have worked together to dream and design a techno tutu, a motion sensor skirt that mimics the pattern of falling snow with LED lights as each performer dances through the scene. Wintry projections will follow suit, using the dancers' patterns on stage as a trigger for producing a snowy effect on the theater cyc.

Tech masters Nick Vermeer and Bill Ward hard at work backstage
Tech masters Nick Vermeer and Bill Ward hard at work backstage

In addition to our ballerinas' motion sensor tutus, a more intricately crafted and programmed costume design is needed for street dancer Mike "Supreme" Fields, who will be playing Drosselmeyer in the upcoming production. Supreme's ever-exciting but ever-so-subtle pops, puffs, deflations and undulations might be difficult to translate in a larger theater atmosphere. This season's experiments with motion sensor technology will make it possible to accentuate and further project his skilled movement through actual illumination of those moves.

Brooklyn Ballet needs $13,200 to fully realize the technological aspects of the Snow and Drosselmeyer 1.0 design and we are asking you to help us raise at least $10,000:

$1,500 in collaborating artists fees
$3,100 for actual construction of the costumes
$1,000 for costume materials
$2,000 for tech materials
$5,600 for dancers fees

Thank you for donating and helping us bring ballet into the 21st century. We can't wait to share this work with you in performance!

From last season's performance In 4D
From last season's performance In 4D

Risks and challenges

Brooklyn Ballet's collaboration with popping and street dance artists delights and rocks the expectations of the average ballet connoisseur. The intricacy of a street artist's movements can be hard to translate on the stage, especially in a larger arena. That's where the costume technology comes to play most effectively, helping to translate the minutia to the full audience, to the last row in the theater. Developing the technology to suit the subtleties as well as the grand gestures of a dancer's movement will be a challenge for the hacker collective NYC Resistor and costume designer YMX by Yellowman but ther lies the creativity and fun!

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    21 backers

    Every dime counts! We can't do this without your support. Receive a heartfelt thank you on our blog, Facebook & Twitter.

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    Pledge $25 or more

    6 backers

    Get groovy with us! Redeem one free adult dance class at Brooklyn Ballet! (Total value $15)

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    20 backers

    See it for yourself! You'll have online access to Snow from the Brooklyn Nutcracker!

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    Pledge $50 or more

    12 backers

    Come see our show! Receive one ticket to our season performance (excluding opening reception performance) at The Actors Fund Arts Center in Downtown Brooklyn. Your name will also be listed on Brooklyn Ballet's website, blog and social media as a supporter. (Total value $25)

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    Pledge $50 or more

    8 backers

    Join us virtually! Don't live in New York but want to see the performance? No problem. With this level, you'll have online access to the full season program, including Snow, AND the world premieres of Three Marys & Quilt/One Night Stand + resident choreographer Julia K. Gleich's The Solitude.

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    Pledge $100 or more

    13 backers

    Show your friends you're a proud supporter of the arts! Receive two tickets to the season performance (excluding opening reception performance) at The Actors Fund Arts Center. Your name will also be listed on Brooklyn Ballet's website, blog and social media as a supporter. (Total value $50)

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    Pledge $150 or more

    5 backers

    Mingle with the company! At this level of donation or more gets you one ticket to the Opening Night reception and performance at The Actors Fund Arts Center. Your name will also be listed on Brooklyn Ballet's website, blog and social media as a supporter. (Total value $75)

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    Pledge $250 or more

    4 backers

    You'll receive two tickets to the Opening Night reception and performance at The Actors Fund Arts Center. Nibble on crudité and enjoy a refreshing drink before the show opens on April 3. Your name will also be listed on Brooklyn Ballet's website, blog and social media as a supporter. (Total value $150)

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    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    Bring a group! Receive four tickets to the Opening Night reception and performance at The Actors Fund Arts Center. Your name will also be listed on Brooklyn Ballet's website, blog and social media as a supporter. (Total value $300)

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    A memento from Marty! Receive the iconic Brooklyn Ballet art poster designed by Pentagram's Woody Pirtle, signed by former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. And join us (four tickets) at our Opening Night reception and performance on April 3. Your name will also be listed on Brooklyn Ballet's website, blog and social media as a supporter. (Total value priceless!)

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Funding period

- (30 days)