One Night Only with Randi Fleckenstine
The holidays are here, and I’m so not ready. 2017 has been moving faster than I can keep up with sometimes, but it's been quite the ride. This is the only time of the year that I make sure I take time for self and set intentions for the new year, so I'm actually looking forward to the coming weeks of holiday cheer.
I have seen Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker at The Fabulous Fox Theatre several times over, and I recommend fitting it into your holiday plans this year. It’s a really great excuse to grab your girlfriends and dress up for a girls’ night. I’m usually late to the train on seeing The Hip Hop Nutcracker, but not this year! My brother is home, and I’m excited to show him what Atlanta has to offer for the holidays.
The New Jersey Performing Arts Center will be gracing Atlanta with The Hip Hop Nutcracker next Sunday, November 26, at The Fox. The choreographers have crafted a show that plays with a contemporary flair to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. With ticket prices starting at $25, there's no excuse to not treat yourself to a magical night of a re-imagined classic.
I was lucky enough to get a little friendly with the associate choreographer, Randi Fleckenstine, on her involvement with The Hip Hop Nutcracker and her thoughts on the dance scene in Atlanta.
How long have you been a professional dancer, and what is your background in the dance industry?
I have been a professional dancer in LA for 4 years now. My first job in LA was dancing at Coachella. Most of my work involves being a specialty dancer (a freestyler), and has been primarily for brands. Some of those brands include Nike, Anthropologie, Toyota, and KMart. I've also danced for Jimmy Kimmel, Mya, Kaytranada. Lately I had the opportunity to also choreograph, as I am doing for this tour with the Hip Hop Nutcracker.
What's been the biggest challenge choreographing this show?
The greatest challenge is taking movement that was all created according to certain specific genres of music, and put it to classical music. We are used to heavy beats, and counting in 8s rather than 3s haha. To keep the hip hop essence but perform it to non hip hop music is always a challenge. But it's an exciting one!
Other than its hip hop theme, what's so different about this show?
We really get to embrace our characters. Part of the exciting part of this show is that we are not only dancing. We may not be speaking lines, but we are still acting. And you will leave knowing the personality of every character on that stage! The story line, while having a lot of the classic characters, has an entirely knew twist, bringing it to modern day.
What has been your favorite moment while being on tour with this show for the past two years?
My favorite moment was performing it in LA last year for all my friends and dance peers. To be able to bring my work onto a theatre stage and share it with those closest to me was an incredible feeling. And each time performing with the cast is an amazing moment as well. We truly are friends on and off the stage, not just a cast of dancers.
What do you think about the dance scene in Atlanta?
Atlanta has an amazing dance scene! Atlanta has its own flavor and so many social dances, steps and vibes come from Atlanta. There's quite a few projects now being produced fully out of Atlanta, including some of Missy's newer videos. Its amazing!
What advice would you give to an aspiring dancer?
Keep at it!! There will be moments when you feel on top of the world, but there will also be moments that are incredibly frustrating. But if you love dance, you will always be able to use it as an outlet! And be open! Learn all you can, always!
What should dancers know before coming to one of your dance classes at Movement Lifestyle?
They should know to bring knee pads hahaha. And they should also know that the floor is for ALL dancers, not just Bboy's and contemporary. Its advantageous for any style of face to be comfortable on the floor and be able to use all their levels. And it's fun to explore!
What would you like viewers to take home from seeing the performance?
I would love for the viewers to leave feeling inspired and positive. We really try to promote a sense of unity on stage. Right now are trying times, a lot of tension in the world. I hope to send the message of unity and encouragement. It is an international cast made up of multiple ethnicities and backgrounds. As impressive as the dancing is, I hope the long lasting memory of the performance is one of positivity