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The Hard Nut in Berkeley
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Author:  LMCtech [ Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  The Hard Nut in Berkeley

Two articles from the SF Chronicle.

Lifelong friends both find a place at Mark Morris Dance Company
Andrew Tolve, Special to The Chronicle

Monday, December 17, 2007

A few days before the Mark Morris Dance Group began its production of "The Hard Nut" at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, the group's two youngest dancers, Bay Area natives Samuel Black and Dallas McMurray, were stuck in a photo shoot that was dragging on a little too long. The photographer orchestrating the shoot said he needed the dancers to be more relaxed, while the dancers, who'd already been asked to switch into and out of snow hats and sequined costumes, were starting to look understandably ill at ease.


Review: Morris' 'Hard Nut' not to be missed
Rachel Howard, Chronicle Dance Correspondent

Monday, December 17, 2007

There are three certainties in American life - death, taxes and "Nutcracker" - and more than 15 years ago, Mark Morris took the sting out of one of them, replacing sugarplum sweetness with a raunchy 1960s suburbia house party, Dairy Queen-hatted snowflakes and friskily fertile, splay-legged waltzing flowers. No wonder then that "The Hard Nut," which had premiered in Brussels, quickly became a hit and a nearly annual ritual in this country. But as the years pile on and "The Hard Nut" becomes more familiar, the question builds: Can an antidote to the "Nutcracker" as cod-liver-oil tradition avoid becoming cod liver oil itself?

The answer, it turned out Friday at UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall, is yes. The Mark Morris Dance Group is no stranger to Cal Performances in this production - they've danced it here for eight of the past 11 years - and many in the opening-night audience (including this critic) had seen it three or more times. Yet the laughs were fresh and frequent. If, like many arts fans in the Bay Area, you've been there, done that and wonder if it's worth seeing "The Hard Nut" again before the run ends Sunday, let my smile-weary face answer affirmative.


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