Plans are moving forward for 25th Winter Walk, which takes place this year on Saturday, December 4. Since 2016, Rip the Nut has been a regular feature of Winter Walk, and it will return again this year. This year, however, Rip the Nut has been reimagined. The following press release from Hudson Hall explains how.
Now in its sixth year, Rip the Nut--a raucous mashup of the Rip Van Winkle story and the Nutcracker Suite conceived by Adam Weinert--returns for the 25th Anniversary of Winter Walk on Saturday, December 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. Weinert has reimagined the performance this year to be experienced outdoors, with dancers performing in shop windows along the mile-long stretch of Hudson's historic main street.
This family friendly production has proven itself a Hudson holiday staple since it premiered at Winter Walk in 2016. "I grew up performing in The Nutcracker," says Weinert, who co-directs this year's production with his husband, R. B. Schlather, who is know for his innovations as an opera director and is critically acclaimed for site specific performances and process-art installations. "When I moved to Hudson, I found that the story of Rip Van Winkle very much permeates the area. It felt right to bring these stories together."
Weinert believes that the Rip Van Winkle fable has particular resonance in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. "It feels a little but like we've all been slumbering in isolation," he says, "and we're emerging into a world that feels very different."
Traditionally, Rip the Nut has been presented at Hudson Hall, with local children and community partners joining the dancers onstage for a variety of whimsical numbers. This year, Winter Walk attendees will experience the show as they walk along Warren Street and encounter dancers, digital projections, music, and text in storefront windows.
"We're lucky to be working with members of the community who've been at this a long time," says Weinert, who points out that the first Winter Walk closely resembled this year's storefront-centric edition, with dancers appearing in windows to the delight of children and families. "It feels great to bring that tradition back this year--for different reasons but to similar effect."