Even though the first performance of The Nutcracker took place over 100 years ago, the tradition of the popular holiday ballet continues to grow. Dancers who remember performing in Nutcracker performances in the past are now sharing the magic, teaching those same roles to eager young dancers. Parents who saw their first Nutcracker as children are now introducing their own children to the enchanting holiday ballet.
The Nutcracker Story :
Over the years, the fundamental spirit of The Nutcracker has remained the same. The Nutcracker is based on the story "The Nutcracker and the King of Mice," written by E.T.A. Hoffman. Although the stage performance differs from the original story, the basic plot remains the same. The Nutcracker tells the story of a young girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a battle against a Mouse King.
Characters of The Nutcracker:
The cast of The Nutcracker is still changing, as individual ballet companies attempt to make their performances unique by adding their own special touches. Choroegraphers often tweak the original roles, or omit certain characters altogether, depending on their needs. Therefore, it is safe to say that no two Nutcrackers are exactly the same.
The Nutcracker Music:
The music of the Nutcracker Ballet was composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1892. The music has been featured in many movies and television programs. It is the unforgettable sound of the celesta, a unique instrument, that causes the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy music to play again and again remain in our heads.
The Nutcracker is celebrated nationwide during the holiday season. Most ballet companies perform their own version of The Nutcracker sometime after Thanksgiving and during the month of December. Whether it is a tradition in your family or your very first performance, your experience of the enchanting holiday classic will warm your holiday spirit.
History and Traditions of The Nutcracker:
The Nutcracker ballet was first performed on December 5, 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The original performance was a complete failure, unfavorably reviewed by both critics and audiences. Despite its beginnings, however, the ballet has become the most popular ballet performed in the United States. It has become a major part of the annual holiday tradition.