By far the most popular live production of the holiday season is the Nutcracker. This lovable, classic story is a two-act ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”, by way of Alexandre Dumas’ adapted story “The Nutcracker”. It was given its premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg on Sunday, December 18, 1892, on a double-bill with Tchaikovsky’s opera Iolanta.
Although the original production was not a success, the 20-minute suite that Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet was. However, the complete Nutcracker has enjoyed enormous popularity since the late 1960s and is now performed by countless ballet companies.
Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker
As the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, Marie’s wooden nutcracker doll comes to life and transforms into a prince! Soon joined by her other toys that have also come to life, Marie, and her prince embark on a dreamy unforgettable adventure.
A holiday tradition for the whole family, The Nutcracker enchants the Bolshoi stage for two hours of enchantment and magic. Along with Tchaikovsky’s cherished score and some of the Bolshoi’s greatest artists, The Nutcracker remains a treasure not to be missed!
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreography: Yuri Grigorovich
Libretto Yuri Grigorovich (after E.T.A. Hoffmann and Marius Petipa).
Cast: Denis Rodkin (the Nutcracker Prince), Anna Nikulina (Marie), Andrei Merkuriev (Drosselmeyer), Vitaly Biktimirov (the Mouse King), and the Bolshoi Corps de Ballet.