John Bishop, founder and artistic director of Northwest Ballet Theater, reports his Nutcracker is like the original version–based on the Russian ballet first performed in St. Petersburg in 1892. Northwest Ballet’s production features backdrops painted in Russia as well as costumes made in New York City.
Lyrical and enchanting, mesmerizing and magical, The Nutcracker has become a holiday tradition. Marius Petipa, chief master of the Russian Imperial Ballet, commissioned Russian composer Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky to write the music to Alexandre Dumas’ happier version of a somewhat dark and scary fairytale originally written by E.T.A. Hoffman. Originally produced in 1892, it wasn’t until 1934 that The Nutcracker was performed outside of Russia. It was performed first in England, and then at the San Francisco Ballet in 1944. George Balanchine choreographed and premiered his version in 1954 with the New York City Ballet.
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