Would you believe us if we told you that the very first production of The Nutcracker was a flop? Well, it’s true! Neither critics nor audiences enjoyed the original performance in 1892 Russia. But now, the show is arguably one of the most popular ballets in the world. The Nutcracker, which was first performed in the United States 74 years ago, has truly become a holiday classic for all audiences. And for dancers, The Nutcracker will always hold a special place in our hearts. You’ve dreamt of being Clara ever since you were a little girl. You can hum the entire score in your sleep. And, even as you grow older, the magic of the show never seems to go away. Here are some reasons why we will always love The Nutcracker:
Nostalgia: No matter how old you are, seeing The Nutcracker always makes you feel like a kid again. It brings you back to the first time you saw the ballet…the magic of the life-size mice, the brilliant sets and costumes, the hypnotizing music, and the majesty of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Oh, and let’s not forget how much you wanted to be Clara (perhaps you even got the chance to play Clara in your studio’s production of the show). Whatever part you played growing up seems to remain your favorite part of the show, whether it was a snowflake, a mouse, a party-goer, a flower, or one of Mother Ginger’s children.
Score: Tchaikovsky’s score is so memorable and iconic. “The Waltz of the Snowflakes,” “Russian Trepak,” and “Waltz of the Flowers” are some of our favorites. Many commercials and television shows use music from The Nutcracker because they know it’s recognizable and puts people in the holiday spirit.
Spirit: There is something magical in the air during Christmas season…Everyone seems to be friendlier. The Nutcracker is a reminder of all the joy and magic of the holiday season. The show just puts us in the mood for drinking hot cocoa, building snowmen, and spending time with our family. What’s not to love?
Choreography: There are many choreographic versions of The Nutcracker, and they’re all beautiful. But if you get a chance to see a principal ballerina like Sara Mearns or Misty Copeland as the Sugar Plum Fairy, that’s a pas de deux like you’ve never seen before.
History: The Nutcracker has been around for over 125 years! There’s something really special about the fact that you can see a performance of The Nutcracker at your local dance studio or by a professional company like San Francisco Ballet or Ballet West. In that way, the production sort of unites the dance community on a bigger scale.
We’ve already got our tickets to see The Nutcracker ballet and also the highly-anticipated Disney live-action film, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.” Do you have your tickets yet? What production of The Nutcracker will you be seeing this holiday season? Share with us in the comments section below.