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The History of The Nutcracker Ballet

The Nutcracker Ballet


Brief History of the Nutcracker Ballet
In 1891, world renowned choreographer, Marius Petipa commissioned Peter Tchaikovsky to compose the music for Alexandre Dumas’s adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman’s tale “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” Its first performance in 1892, was a complete failure – both the critics and the audience disliked it. Since then, The Nutcracker has been the most widely performed ballet in the world. Almost every ballet company from Australia to Europe and Asia to America performs the The Nutcracker during the holiday season. How can a ballet that was disastrously debuted and ill-received be one of the most famous ballets today? Because in 1954, George Balanchine, another world renowned choreographer, created a new production of The Nutcracker. His choreography breathed new life into the ballet and sparked the attention and imagination of the viewing audience. If you’ve seen The Nutcracker, it was most likely a version based on Balanchine’s.

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