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Kids Commute: Novel Nutcracker Week!

This week on Kids Commute, it's not your Grandmother's Nutcracker... or maybe it is!

You probably don't have to look hard to find a performance of The Nutcracker in a city near you this holiday season.

Listen to our Classical Sprouts episode all about the music and the story of the ballet!

Life-size dolls, mouse soldiers, dancing snowflakes, candies, flowers and a beautiful ballet princess . . .

And now that it's so popular, genres from bluegrass to klezmer have made Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker their own.

Explore some on Kids Commute this week!

The bluegrass ensemble, Front Porch Orchestra, has a whole album of music from The Nutcracker played on instruments like the mandolin, banjo and fiddle.

KC Novel Nutcracker Week! - Monday: 'Overture'
performed and arranged by the Front Porch Orchestra, originally by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker"

Pianist, composer and band leader Duke Ellington created jazz arrangements of music from The Nutcracker with fun titles like "Toot Toot Tootie Toot," "Peanut Brittle Brigade" and "Arabesque Cookie."

KC Novel Nutcracker Week! - Tuesday: 'Toot Toot Tootie Toot (Dance of the Reed Pipes)'
performed and arranged by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, originally by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker"

Klezmer group Shirim's reimagined Nutcracker features instruments like the accordion, piano and clarinet.

KC Novel Nutcracker Week - Wednesday: 'Tea'
performed and arranged by Shirim, originally by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker"

Wendy Carlos' take on The Nutcracker uses an instrument that hadn't even been invented when Tchaikovsky was alive - the synthesizer.

KC Novel Nutcracker Week - Thursday: 'Trepak'
performed and arranged by Wendy Carlos, originally by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker"

And a cappella group Pentatonix's version uses no instruments at all!

KC Novel Nutcracker Week - Friday: 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy'
performed and arranged by Pentatonix, originally by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker"

Discover even more novel Nutcrackers with our Spotify playlist!

More from Kids Commute:

Kate Botello is a host and producer at Classical IPR.
Emily Duncan Wilson is IPR's digital content manager and is the producer of "Classical Sprouts" and "Kids Commute".