Who knew that Balanchine could be so bawdy? Austin McCormick-that’s who. For the last several years, this visionary has been reimagining child-friendly fables like Snow White, Cinderella, and Ferdinand the Bull by turning them into tantalizing, tantric tales of temptation for the mature masses.
The Juilliard trained dancer/choreographer is the brainchild behind Company XIV, a dance troupe that incorporates numerous dance forms and styles. Minetta Lane Theater was formerly their tentative home, but earlier this year, McCormick planted his flag in Bushwick with a grand space fit for royalty.
Currently, his sexy ensemble is treading the boards with Nutcracker Rouge, a delicious holiday spectacle that honors George Balanchine’s material but adds more sass and sizzle.
Michael Cunio, who may well be the love child of a young Billy Idol and Grace Jones serves as our serpentine emcee. He is joined by Storm Marrero, a full figured beauty with a voice that will melt your heart. Allison Ulrich is one of the group’s principal dancers and truly sparkles as she performs McCormick’s gorgeous—and difficult—choreography.
Few of McCormick’s moves are easy to execute, but his entire ensemble of trained dancers execute them in a way that appears carefree and effortless.
Tchaikovsky’s perennial score is here, along with songs from Elvis Presley, Mika, and Ariana Grande. Like an eclectic gingerbread house, Company XIV fills their home with scenes that are sweet as gumdrops; others are more decadent than chocolate. It all adds up to one irresistible treat.
Although this is an adults-only show, it walks a fine line between classy and trashy, but always keeps its good taste.
While it helps to be in the holiday spirit, it’s not a prerequisite to enjoy the visual feast. Those seeking a unique gift would be wise to treat their partners to a night in this corporeal Candyland. On New Year’s Eve, a special 10 PM performance will be added followed by an after-party with the smokin’ hot cast. Ring in the New Year with bacchanalia and confess your sins in the morning.
Company XIV’s Nutcracker Rouge Theatre XIV, 383 Troutman Street (Bushwick, Brooklyn). For information and tickets go to www.companyxiv.com