Image by Christopher Duggan
CPA Series

Dorrance Dance

Nutcracker Suite
December 13, 2023
7:30 PM

Tickets from $61.28. Discounts available. See details below.

Get ready for Nutcracker Suite, where explosive tap dance meets a holiday classic. This Nutcracker boogies, slides, struts, and dives into Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s reimagined take on the Tchaikovsky classic. Acclaimed choreographer and MacArthur Fellow Michelle Dorrance, along with collaborators Hannah Heller and Josette Wiggan, transform the Memorial Hall stage into a celebration of swingin’ syncopation, persuading us all to be a little more soulful this holiday season.

“With each performance of Dorrance Dance, tap expands.”

The New York Times


Tickets available from $61.28. $10 UNC-Chapel Hill student tickets available with valid UNC One Card. Additional discounts available. Limits apply. Visit our FAQ page for details.


  • Runtime: TBD
  • Intermission: None
  • Additional information: Visit our FAQ page.


Creators: Michelle Dorrance, Hannah Heller, and Josette Wiggan

Choreography: Michelle Dorrance and Josette Wiggan in collaboration with the performers

more credits

Additional Choreography: Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, Hannah Heller, Matthew “Megawatt” West, and Joseph Wiggan

Choreographic Advisor: Risa Steinberg

Music: “Nutcracker Suite”

Composer: Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, arr. Ellington/Strayhorn by arrangement with G. Schirmer, INC. publisher and copyright owner

Lighting Design: Kathy Kaufmann

Costume Design: Andrew Jordan

Set Design: Peiyi Wong

Sound Design: Christopher Marc

  • Image provided by Christopher Duggan


Michelle Dorrance is a New York City-based artist. Mentored by Gene Medler (North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble), she was fortunate to study under many of the last master hoofers. Career highlights include: STOMP, Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap!, Jason Samuels Smith’s Charlie’s Angels/Chasing the Bird, Ayodele Casel’s Diary of a Tap Dancer, Mable Lee’s Dancing Ladies, and playing the bass for Darwin Deez. Company work includes: Savion Glover’s Ti Dii, Manhattan Tap, Barbara Duffy and Co., JazzTap Ensemble, and Rumba Tap. Solo work ranges from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to commissions for the Martha Graham Dance Company, Vail Dance Festival, American Ballet Theatre, and New York City Center. Michelle made her Broadway choreographic debut with James Lapine’s Flying Over Sunset at Lincoln Center Theater in 2021. A 2018 Doris Duke Artist, 2017 Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow, and 2015 MacArthur Fellow, Dorrance is humbled to have been acknowledged and supported by United States Artists, The Joyce Theater, the Alpert Awards, Jacob’s Pillow, Princess Grace Foundation-USA, The Field, American Tap Dance Foundation, and the Bessie Awards. Dorrance holds a B.A. from New York University and is a Capezio Athlete.

Josette Wiggan has a love for performing that was fostered by Paul and Arlene Kennedy in Los Angeles. A graduate of UCLA, Josette’s career highlights include, the 2001 Spotlight Award winner in non-classical dance, the 1st National Broadway Tour of 42nd Street, movies Idlewild and Princess and the Frog and studying with Germaine Acogny at L’ecole les Sables in Toubab Dialaw, Senegal. Alongside her brother, she was a part of two original casts of Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel and Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour from 2009-2013. The duo has also been seen in Tireless, a curated show by Michelle Dorrance that had its debut at Jacob’s Pillow in 2017. In addition, as part of Dorrance’s all-woman quartet, Wiggan co-created Until the Real Thing Comes Along, All Good Things Come to an End, and Nutcracker Suite. Josette is a sought-after educator, choreographer, and performer, and has dedicated her life to the perpetuation of African American Vernacular Jazz Dance.

Hannah Heller was a founding member of Savion Glover’sTi Dii and has appeared with Dorrance Dance, Jane Comfort and Co., and Grand Lady Dance House. New York theater credits include Elements of Oz (3LD), Emily Climbs: Machine Mechànte (The Brick), The World is Round (BAM), The Reception (HERE Arts Center), Evelyn (Bushwick Starr). Film/Television credits include Lemon (Magnolia Pictures/Killer Films), Hard World For Small Things (WEVR), and Jeff and Some Aliens (Comedy Central).

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