'Slutcracker': Classic Ballet Reinvented

Ballet troupes tweak the classic "Nutcracker" to create alternative versions.
3:00 | 12/23/11

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Transcript for 'Slutcracker': Classic Ballet Reinvented
And now settle in for a story about a perennial holiday favorite the nutcracker. Believe it or not for some this Tchaikovsky classic can be a commercial bonanza. Standby to cue the toy soldiers in the sugar plums and the dollar signs here's ABC's John Donvan. In short order the story of the nutcracker. Which we're telling with Paper dolls because well we didn't want to have to pay a dance. It's a ballet about a little girl who gets -- nutcracker toy for Christmas. It comes to life and turns it to -- -- who -- her -- journey through the enchanted land of snow and the kingdom of sweets. In what may or may not turn out to have been a dream. Everybody always says that kids love this valley. So let's ask that -- -- been up there on stage about it she is Isabella our seventh grader who plays the lead in the Boston ballet production. Think it's nice kid friendly to me -- went like this I think it's helping -- With the costumes -- there any names and it's not too complicated this reticence there yet. It's like I'm that he -- Yes this is the nutcracker you probably grew up with. With the sugar plum fairy. And Russian dancers doing splits. And this is the San Francisco valley here. Toy soldiers doing battle with Mike's. But then there is this nutcracker Seattle's land of the -- Featuring performers in -- It was stripping countess of coffee. But that seems provocative. Well take a look at the -- cracker Boston's burlesque version yes that is a pole dance being performed by founder Vanessa wife -- classic which. Dancer who took up burlesque after an injury forced her to quit -- she said she started this production of the win. It's like -- in the name just kind of popped into my head. Husband was like you have to do that. If I was just kind of like I don't know -- -- -- Turns out it's a big business. Since we opened in 2008 we grossed over half a million dollars last year we sold 121000 tickets. Indeed the nutcracker is so popular that even though it was not originally written for Christmas time people still think of its music today as Christmas music. Which is one reason that -- company's old across the nation are putting it on right now the other reason. They really need the money in the nutcracker -- guaranteed money. We don't lose money on nutcracker. We lose money on everything else all -- yes. Which is why there are performances in at least a 121. American cities this season alone of course that means they're competing with each other. And that means the nutcracker gets tweaked. Salt Lake city's ballet west does too. Plastic -- and it's nutty nutcracker. With a battle scenes between light -- and The Marx Brothers as Russian -- So -- nutty nutcracker in Orlando Kid Rock music. Check the -- on the sugar plum fairy. -- And -- -- his therapy a nonprofit organization helping veterans. Put up -- canine version last year. Pacific northwest ballet premiere this production in nineteen. It sets costumes and new characters like peacock. And the Chinese tiger by Maurice Sendak and wild -- -- To -- in -- four and back you -- -- there is the urban nutcracker. -- choreographer Tony Williams danced in the Boston -- first production of the nutcracker in 1965. His version here incorporates hip hop. Yeah. They wanted to do some things that include bit different dance styles and often reflected the children that was. Community. Williams stumbled into -- as a teen growing up in Boston and says the dance changed him. Well I was just punk kid juvenile delinquent I found myself -- -- my soul. In dance it was adolescent period it was a life -- Which is why he'd worked so hard to make this production relevant -- students and audiences in Boston feel like this belly is their own. Want to spend one -- kids like the nutcracker he adds a lot of kids kids that train here -- the urban. Eight and also on the big stage of Boston ballet. With the director says the show is a training program to -- kids can learn to dance and audiences can learn to love it it's a great opportunity to develop the company. And the audience absolutely this is the opportunity. For you. To get people brand new to ballet to like it -- a great opportunity for industry and -- art -- And now that it's Christmas time on stages everywhere. Performers are giving the nutcracker yet one more run. When we dance for the money. For Nightline I'm -- don't get involved.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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