The Bang Group has cracked the Nutcracker wide open with a humorous romp through Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, turning everything you thought you knew about the show on its ballet-bunned head. Nut/Cracked appears at the Performing Arts Center at the regional high school on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Using a combination of the traditional orchestral suite along with versions by Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and more, the company twists, turns, bops and drops through a variety of dance styles reinterpreting everything from the separation of audience and performers to the correct use of pointe shoes.

The Bang Group, a dance company from New York, has been performing Nut/Cracked, choreographed by David Parker, for 13 years, touring around the world and now finally landing on the Vineyard. Their performance of Nut/Cracked will herald in The Winter Yard, a new program that brings shows to the Island during the off season.

Yard executive director and coproducer Alison Manning is also dancing in the show. She said the show both follows and does not follow the traditional story.

“It doesn’t actually have the characters Clara and the Nutcracker,” she said. Throughout the performance, different dancers embody parts of the classic characters, but with a twist.

“In the Chinese dance, a dancer in pointe shoes eats a Chinese noodle for the duration of the song,” Ms. Manning said. “It’s a really fun take on a classic.”

In one section, male dancers perform a tap dance, a subtle nod to old showgirl and vaudeville acts.

“A couple of companies back in the day would do tap in pointe shoes,” said Ms. Manning.

One section involves a community dance. A group of high school students, Yard staff and dancers from What’s Written Within, an Island dance group, will join the company on stage for a number. Nut/Cracked is family friendly and has cross generational appeal, Ms. Manning said.

“It’s for anybody who loves the holidays and anyone who loves a little’s just a blast,” she said.

The Bang Group is a resident company of The Yard and have been performing and teaching there for the past five years during the summer.

The Winter Yard will have two more programs after Nut/Cracked. Everett Company will arrive in March to perform the Freedom Project and in April, Le Patin Libre, a Canadian figure skating troupe, will perform.

Tickets to Nut/Cracked are available at the door, online at or by phone at 508-645-9662.