In this special WORT Birthday Boost edition of the Friday 8 O’Clock Buzz on November 30, our host Jonathan Zarov speaks with Li Chiao-Ping, of Li Chiao-Ping Dance, about The Knotcracker, which will be opening tonight. The show, which is filled with puns, is a playful take on The Nutcracker, and is considered to have taken on its own tradition in Madison. “It’s about a child, boy or girl, who is trying to work his or her way through life trying to find him/herself.” There are two child and two adult leads.
Li explains, “the show is not to replace [The Nutcracker]. I consider it as an alternative. It does offer a totally different entertaining take on [The Nutcracker]. It’s great to become a new classic in a way.” The show will not be playing after this year, but Li explains that they may bring it back in the future.
Li also speaks about how meaning is conveyed through dance, and what message The Knotcracker expresses, “Its humor with a point… I’m interested in how it speaks to something. While we are celebrating the idea of community, diversity of tradition, and diversity in our community, we can also look at the issues of kids and bullying, the pressure to conform and have the same material goods as others…So I hope we learn to accept ourselves and our differences, and to really embrace that.” The Knotcracker provides “alternative ways of dressing, being, and moving.” The lead role is double-cast as a boy and girl, a significant move from traditional gender roles, “I look at the piece as flexible enough so as to be meaningful and get the message across through the gender lens as well.”
Visit Li Chiao-Ping Dance for more information.
The Knotcracker opens tonight, Friday November 30.
November 30 – Dec 2
Overture Center for the Arts – Playhouse Theater
Listen to the entire interview here: