Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker
Duration: 1 hr 20 mins
Director: Oliver Bokelberg
Producer: Oliver Bokelberg, Mark Monroe
Cinematography: Oliver Bokelberg
Release Date: 27 November 2020
Streaming On: Netflix
Star Cast: Debbie Allen
Plot: ‘Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker’ is an American documentary film directed by Oliver Bokelberg. It follows Debbie Allen and her students at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and offers a behind-the-scenes look as they prepare for their annual award-winning holiday version of The Nutcracker, called Hot Chocolate Nutcracker.
Review: The documentary follows the legendary Debbie Allen and the staff, students, and extended family of her Los Angeles dance school, through the production of their anticipated annual Hot Chocolate Nutcracker - a beloved local tradition that stars more than 200 children and a smattering of professional actors, including Allen herself.
Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker shines a light on the work of trailblazing icon Debbie Allen, and her reimagining of the classic ballet performed annually by the gifted students of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA).
Over the last 50 years, Allen’s incredible career has spanned the spectrum of the arts - from acting in, choreographing, and directing the iconic series Fame, to her prolific work directing, producing, choreographing, dancing, and writing for film, television, and theatre - garnering her Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, and multiple Tony nominations in the process.
Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker features intimate interviews with Allen, her family, DADA’s world-class dance instructors, and her inspirational students, and provides fascinating insights into Allen’s own personal journey pursuing an art form where she did not always see herself reflected in its imagery.
The film also offers absolute close access to the gruelling rehearsals, the passion and leadership of Allen and DADA’s dance instructors, and the huge commitment and undertaking by the dancers of all ages and backgrounds who come to train at the academy each year regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances or traditional expectations of the dance community.
Rehearsed for just over three months, ‘The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker’ has become a staple holiday performance in Los Angeles and the largest fundraising event on the school’s calendar. It is just not a mere documentary or any other dancing reality show. It is every part beautiful as it shows what it takes to pull off a show like this: sweat, tears and blood all in it!