engarian (engarian) wrote,
engarian
engarian

Holiday Traditions - The Nutcracker Ballet

So The Nutcracker ballet is one of the most beloved ballets in modern times and perhaps is the most performed ballet in the world. But when it debuted on December 17, 1892 in the Maryinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia, it was panned and received horrible reviews. The music and the choreography were both given extremely poor reviews and Tchaikovsky was terribly depressed by its lack of success. He pulled short bits from the musical score, making a twenty-minute conglomeration which he released separately, and that was a success.

Photo of Stanislava Belinskaya as Clara (left), an unknown performer (center),
& Vassily Stulkolin as Fritz (right) in the Imperial Ballet's original production of the Petipa/Ivanov/Tchaikovsky ballet "The Nutcracker". December 1892



The amazing George Balanchine staged a successful production of The Nutcracker in 1954 for the New York City Ballet and it became a holiday standard, produced and staged often during the Christmas season in the 1960's. Today it is a ballet classic and is usually staged by multiple dance companies throughout the world at the holiday season. In fact, it is so omnipresent that often it is the only ballet that many have seen at all.

This scene is from the Boston Ballet production of 2010.

This lovely duo dances in The Nutcracker production from the Atlanta Ballet in 2012.

So that brings me to the question. Have you seen The Nutcracker? And secondarily, have you seen any other ballet performances? My mother adored the ballet and my aunt was a renowned performer and teacher of modern dance, so I saw many different dance performances as I was growing up. But my DH doesn't care for dance, so it is not something that we have seen as a couple. I love the pure excitement that can be conveyed by finely toned bodies and expressed in the movement that is dance, and it is NOT easy. To be a top dancer is a non-stop daily multiple-hour exercise through movement and pain. There are no days off. The dancers have my total admiration.
Tags: holidays
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