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BARD’S FISHER CENTER PRESENTS THE HARD NUT, THE MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP’S DELIGHTFUL TAKE ON E. T. A. HOFFMAN’S “NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING,” DECEMBER 15 –17 Only U.S. Presentation for 2006; Four Performances to be Staged in Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts

Mark Primoff
“It’s a Nutcracker Nut’s bonanza! Kids will be tickled by its iconoclastic mischief…a lovely and touching piece of choreography.” -- Washington Post ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Imagine the Christmas classic The Nutcracker transported in time to the swinging 1970s and you have Mark Morris’s acclaimed The Hard Nut—a hilarious holiday perennial and loving homage to Tchaikovsky’s most famous ballet. Morris’s choreography retains the best qualities of more conventional Nutcrackers, without the saccharine. The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and Bard College will be presenting this contemporary American Christmas classic for four performances only, December 15-17, in the Center’s extraordinary Sosnoff Theater. Impeccably faithful to Tchaikovsky’s original score, this hip and heartwarming work showcases beautiful music and dancing with glorious costumes and stylized sets inspired by the work of comic book artist and illustrator Charles Burns. Deliciously oscillating between hilarious satire and loving tribute, Mark Morris sets the classic Nutcracker tale as 1970s suburban holiday party out of bounds, There’s something for everyone, from the first act’s duet between young Drosselmeyer and his uncle, startling in its unabashed loveliness, to Morris’s exhilarating Dance of the Snowflakes, with its rhythmical sprays of stardust. Exalting in Tchaikovsky’s splendid score, The Hard Nut is a truly joyous holiday confection - “a sublime marriage of wit, music, and movement.” (San Francisco Chronicle) The Hard Nut will be presented Friday, December 15 and Saturday, December 16 at 8 p.m., with matinees on Saturday, December 16 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, December 17 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25, 55, and 65, with additional discounts for children accompanied by a guardian. If you enjoy a dash of spice along with your holiday cheer, you’ll love The Hard Nut. Based on “Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E. T. A. Hoffman; music by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker, Op. 71). Tickets $25, 55, 65. For more information, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or visit About the production THE HARD NUT December 15-17, 2006 Sosnoff Theater Based on Nutcracker and Mouseking, by E.T.A. Hoffmann Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (The Nutcracker, Op. 71) Mark Morris, Choreography Robert Cole, Conductor Adrianne Lobel, Set Design Martin Pakledinaz, Costume Design James F. Ingalls, Lighting Design Production based on the work of Charles Burns About Mark Morris Mark Morris was born on August 29, 1956, in Seattle, Washington, where he studied as a young man with Verla Flowers and Perry Brunson. In the early years of his career, he performed with Lar Lubovitch, Hannah Kahn, Laura Dean, Eliot Feld, and the Koleda Balkan Dance Ensemble. He formed the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980, and has since created more than 120 works for the company. From 1988-1991, he was Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the national opera house of Belgium. Among the works created during his tenure were three evening-length dances: The Hard Nut; L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; and Dido and Aeneas. In 1990, he founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Morris is also much in demand as a ballet choreographer. He has created six works for the San Francisco Ballet since 1994 and received commissions from American Ballet Theatre and Boston Ballet, among others. His work is in the repertory of the Geneva Ballet, New Zealand Ballet, Houston Ballet, English National Ballet, and The Royal Ballet, Covent Garden. Morris is noted for his musicality - he has been described as “undeviating in his devotion to music” - and for his “ability to conjure so many contradictory styles and emotions.” He has worked extensively in opera, directing and choreographing productions for the New York City Opera, English National Opera, and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Morris was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation in 1991. He has received honorary doctorates from the Boston Conservatory of Music, Juilliard School, Long Island University, Pratt Institute, Bowdoin College, Bard College, Bates College, and George Mason University. Morris is the subject of a biography by Joan Acocella (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). In 2001, Marlowe & Company published Mark Morris’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato: A Celebration, a volume of photographs and critical essays. About the Mark Morris Dance Group The Mark Morris Dance Group, now celebrating its 25th Anniversary, was formed in 1980 and gave its first concert that year in New York City. The company’s touring schedule steadily expanded to include cities both in the U.S. and in Europe, and in 1986 it made its first national television program for the PBS series Dance in America. In 1988, MMDG was invited to become the national dance company of Belgium, and spent three years in residence at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. The company returned to the United States in 1991 as one of the world’s leading dance companies, performing across the U.S. and at major international festivals. It has maintained and strengthened its ties to several cities around the world, most notably its west coast home, Cal Performances in Berkeley, CA. It appears regularly in Boston, MA; Fairfax, VA; Seattle, WA; Urbana, IL; the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, MA; and at BAM in Brooklyn, NY. MMDG made its debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival in 2002 and at the Tanglewood Music Festival in 2003 and has since been invited to both festivals annually. The company’s London seasons have garnered two Laurence Olivier Awards. MMDG is noted for its commitment to live music, a feature of every performance on its full international touring schedule since 1996. Cellist Yo Yo Ma has frequently collaborated with MMDG; their projects include the 1997 Emmy Award-winning film Falling Down Stairs and the 2002 dance Kolam, created for The Silk Road Project in collaboration with Indian composer Zakir Hussain and jazz pianist Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus. MMDG’s film and television projects include Dido and Aeneas, The Hard Nut, and two documentaries for the U.K.’s South Bank Show. In fall 2001, MMDG opened the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn, NY, the company's first permanent headquarters in the U.S., housing rehearsal space for the dance community, outreach programs for local children, as well as a school offering dance classes to students of all ages. # Major support for this presentation has been provided by the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation. Altria Group, Inc. is the Premiere Sponsor of the Mark Morris Dance Group’s 25th Anniversary Season. MetLife Foundation is the official sponsor of the Mark Morris Dance Group's 25TH Anniversary National Tour. Major support for the Mark Morris Dance Group is provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York, MetLife Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and Target. The Mark Morris Dance Group New Works Fund is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation The Mark Morris Dance Group’s education and performance activities are supported by Independence Community Foundation. The Mark Morris Dance Group’s performances are made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Program and the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.

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This event was last updated on 12-18-2006