Nutcracker Rouge, New York

Beneath flurries of feathers, corsets, glitter and champagne lies The Nutcracker Rouge; a burlesque meets opera, meets ballet, “take” on the classic Christmas story of The Nutcracker.

Take to your seat, in a room filled with the musky scent of pine, dimly lit through a haze of stage smoke and drenched in the atmosphere of “the theatre.” The Nutcracker Rouge is a show, in the way a show should be; a mastery of performance and elegance in the heart of New York City. Austin McCormick’s Nutcracker Rouge, performed at XIV, stands alone in a genre of its own. As an “adult” performance, it naturally has a kinky twist but combines circus and baroque to tell the story of a young lady coming to age.

The set falls in between Mary Antoinette’s palace and an underground nightclub, but provides a perfect backdrop for the exquisite and risqué dancing, singing and theatrics that will unfold before you. Mirroring the themes of the classically performed Nutcracker, dances include the Candied Violets, set to Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers and the Sugar Plum pas de deaux, with choreography that mixes sensual and sexually themes movements with elegant and powerful poses. Prepare to be stunned by the sound of live opera from performers, dangled upside down on floating hoops, to snowflakes on your face, to the lifting up of skirts!

The Nutcracker Rouge is a beautiful celebration of the human physique, the joviality of the holiday season and the risqué world of burlesque. If you don’t leave crying, clapping or fully immersed in the holiday spirit, I’d be shocked.