The Nutcracker has long since been a traditional Christmas performance attended by Americans since the 1940’s. The Nutcracker made it’s worldwide debut in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia. As many are familiar with the composer, Tchaikovsky, the original choreography was conceived by Marius Petipa. Petipa became very ill in the middle of composing the choreography so his assistant, Lev Ivanov aided in the completion of the dance.
In contrast to the popularity of the Nutcracker today, the original performance was not as popular to critics, to say the least. Although the music was hailed by many, the scenes, transitions and dancers did not receive rave reviews. Among some of the complaints included the use of children in the ballet as well as the fact that the ballerina did not perform until the end of the ballet during the “Grand Pas de Deux”.
Since the original 1892 production there have since been many different renditions and takes on the famous ballet. Although choreography and story lines seem to alter a bit the score is always familiar and unaltered. It is a wonderful tradition for anyone who celebrates Christmas and can be found in almost any city around the United States.