- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a Russian composed the music for Nutcracker in 1892. Originally it was a flop and he never saw what a success it was to become. He died in 1893 at the age of 53.
- The story is based on the book The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E. T. A. Hoffman.
- There are many interpretations and The Nutcracker is performed in many places around the world this time of year.
- The very first performance took place at the Imperial Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 18th, 1892.
- The San Francisco Ballet performed the first American production in December 1944.
- Some notable productions include those by Rudolf Nureyev for the Royal Ballet, Yuri Grigorovich for the Bolshoi Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov for the American Ballet Theatre, and Peter Wright for the Royal Ballet and the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
- The music is often used in television commercials during the Christmas season.
- The Trepak, or Russian dance, is one of the most recognizable pieces in the ballet, along with the famous Waltz of the Flowers and March, as well as the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. I also like Tea, the Chinese Dance, Chocolate, the Arabian Dance, Dance of the Mirlitons, Coffee, the Spanish Dance and Waltz of the Snowflakes.
- After viewing several performances on YouTube and with visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, I attempted to contact several ballet companies around the world to get permission to use them in my blog and only the Pennsylvania Ballet replied to me so they get my nod this year and my gratitude.
- Not only is the Pennsylvania Ballet full of talented dancers performing on stage. You will also see some movie stars. Members of the Pennsylvania Ballet also performed in the movie Black Swan which is now out in theaters. I was in line last week to see a free preview of the movie at the Ritz in Philadelphia last week and did not get in because so many performers were also in attendance and received the first available seats. I didn’t mind so much not getting in because they deserved the seats and I will see the movie over the holiday. I hear the movie is intense. Natalie Portman stars in it. After viewing so many performances of The Nutcracker around the world on websites and YouTube, the world famous ballet is also on my bucket list.
Watch the Intro to The Pennsylvania Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker.
Links to Nutcracker around the World
Again I find it so interesting that we focus so much on our differences around the world and fail to stop and listen to the music something we all seem to have in common.