Jill Biden's White House Nutcracker Dancers Are Outraging Holiday Purists

While the First Lady spends most of the year in serious pursuits such as meeting with foreign dignitaries and promoting their selected causes, there's one annual responsibility that's all about creating joy. The FLOTUS is responsible for helping plan and execute the official White House Christmas decorations in all the first floor rooms and corridors. Mamie Eisenhower was the first to introduce more elaborate décor to the surroundings, and Jackie Kennedy picked up on the trend by establishing a yearly theme for the displays. It now takes months of planning and a full week of nonstop trimming to get The People's House visitor-ready — talk about starting the Christmas decorating early!

Dr. Jill Biden, the current presidential spouse, clearly delights in helping make the White House festive. Her 2023 theme, "The Magic, Wonder, and Joy of the Holidays," is meant to reflect a child's innocent amazement at the color, lights, and treats associated with the holiday season. From the bakery-themed China Room to the Santa's Workshop display in the State Dining Room, the extravaganza has something for the young and young at heart alike. 

However, Biden also planned a holiday entertainment that's drawing its fair share of sneers along with the cheers. She posted a video of The Dorrance Dance Company, a Manhattan-based tap dance troupe, performing their take on the familiar "Nutcracker Suite" ballet in various rooms of the house. The unconventional rendition brought out the Scrooge in many viewers.

Many were sour on this Suite

Generations of children have grown up watching Tchaikovsky's famous "Nutcracker Suite" at Christmastime The whimsical ballet tells the tale of Clara, a young girl who dreams about her nutcracker soldier coming to life and whisking her away to a magical land of candy. But for viewers accustomed to seeing tutus, toe shoes and arabesques, the sight of jazzy tap dancers in modernistic costumes was jarring. Despite First Lady Jill Biden's introduction of the Dorrance Dance Company's rendition as "a bit of magic, wonder, and joy," followers were unimpressed. 

The harshest critiques — many from Republicans, naturally — called the reimagined "Nutcracker" "grotesque," "smut," "a conga line of freaks," and "a crime against Christmas." The dancers' costumes also reminded many of Effie's over-the-top getups in the "Hunger Games" series. Summing up the purist viewpoint was a critic who sneered: "Tasteless! Of course, I'd expect nothing better from the current inhabitants of the White House!" 

On the other end of the spectrum were admirers who called the tappers "amazing" and "an incredible display of talent with stellar production value." It even impressed a self-described Republican: "I was expecting some monstrosity. Turns out, IMO, it's actually pretty good. These men and women worked hard to put this together...and I liked it."

Will Biden's Nutcracker kerfuffle rival Melania Trump's Christmas scandal? You'll recall she came under fire for her display of plain, bright red trees lining the East Colonnade. At least you can't call Biden's holiday display and entertainment dull.