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Ballet - Nutcracker

Ballet Nutcracker  -  December 2009

Traveling for the Holiday Season or staying home ? Do not miss the magic of this beloved holiday classic: Nutcraker.

In San Francisco, California, admire the Nutcraker by the San Francisco Ballet.

In San Jose, California, enjoy the 30th Anniversary of the production of the Nutcraker.

In New York City (New York), get transported to the magical world of Nutcraker.

In Paris, France, the Opera and the Opera Danse School will entertain you with an unforgetable production of the Nutcraker (Casse-Noisette).

In Tokyo, Japan, indulge yourself with this new production of the Nutcraker.

Follow these links to learn more about the ballet Nutcracker and the movie of the ballet Nutcracker directed by Nureyev in 1988.

Nutcracker - San Francisco Ballet

Nutcracker by The San Francisco Ballet December 2009
Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson.

The first complete production of Nutcracker in America was performed by San Francisco Ballet in 1944.

Nutcracker - Ballet San Jose

Nutcracker by The Ballet San Jose  December 2009
Choreography: Dennis Nahat (Artistic Director)

2009 is the 30th Anniversary production of Dennis Nahat's Nutcracker.

Nutcracker - New York City ballet

Nutcracker by The New York City Ballet  December 2009(Picture from New York City Ballet)
Choreography by George Balanchine
George Balanchine's staging of the Nutcracker was first performed by the New York City Ballet in 1954.

From the moment the lights dim, you will be transported to a magical place filled with adorable children, marching toy soldiers, a glowing one-ton Christmas tree that seemingly grows forever, mischievous mice, crystalline waltzing snowflakes, the Land of Sweets and some of the most glorious dancing on earth.

Nutcracker - Opera of Paris

Nutcracker by The Ballet San Jose  December 2009 - photography credit (Photographic Credit:
Cast: The Étoiles, Principal Dancers and Corps de Ballet with the participation of the pupils of the Ballet School.

Choreography and staging: Rudolf Nureyev after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov (Paris Opera, 1985)
When, in 1985, Rudolph Nureyev created his own version of Casse-Noisette he followed in the choreographic tradition of Petipa, yet moving away from the latter’s over-idyllic vision in favour of Hoffmann’s tale : the extravagant story of puppets and rats becomes the projection of the dreams of an adolescent girl ridden with guilt by her female desires.

Nutcracker - New National Theater Tokyo

Nutcracker - New National Theater Tokyo
Since 1997, the New National Theatre Ballet has always performed Vainonen's version of The Nutcracker.
This year the ballet will perform the NNTT version, directed and newly choreographed by Artistic Director Maki Asami. For this new production, the theatre has called in Olaf Zombeck to direct stage and costume design.

Nutcracker - The Story

Published in 1816, Casse-Noisette et le Roi des rats, Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann’s supernatural tale was adapted into French in 1845 by Alexandre Dumas père. It was from Alexandre Dumas père adaptation that Marius Petipa drew his inspiration for the first ballet version of Casse-Noisette in 1892.

In writing this tale, E.T.A. Hoffmann inaugurated a new “school of the regard” in the world of literature, inviting the reader to follow little “Marie” on her travels between real and fantasy worlds. The writer’s approach contributed to the desire shared by the first romantics to bring about a new “golden age” in culture, where poetic intuition would be the pledge of a reconciliation between man and the “cosmos”. However, in following this path, he also brought substance to an original and imaginary space where henceforth both dreams and nightmares, the light of day and the shadowy depths of the soul, would rub shoulders. His Casse-Noisette can thus be seen as a tale with sombre undercurrents, where childhood reveries are disturbed by the workings of the unconscious. Alexandre Dumas père’s version, on the other hand, is closer to the Christmas tales which borrow their narrative inspiration from popular tradition. When Marius Petipa – chief choreographer of the Imperial Theatres – decided on the theme, his main concern was to create an entertainment for the Christmas and New Year celebrations attended by Tsar Alexander III and his family. And so he relied on Dumas’ version which allowed him to devote the greater part of the second act to dance alone. Whilst respecting Petipa’s choices, Tchaikovsky composed a score presenting greater affinities with Hoffmannian romanticism. Subsequent choreographers returning to Tchaikovsky’s score have adopted either one or the other of the tale’s interpretations. Many have sought to recreate the sense of childlike wonder evoked by Petipa whilst others have preferred Hoffmann’s more shadowy vision, even going so far as to question the borderlines between dream and madness.
Sources : Opera of Paris

Nutcracker, Choregraphy by Nureyev, with the Opéra of Paris
Directed by Nureyev in 1988

   Nutcracker, choregraphy Nureyev, movie 1988

In 1988, Rudolf Nureyev directed the movie Casse Noisette (Nutcracker).
Elisabeth Morin and Laurent Hilaire are dazzling.
Elisabeth Morin was appointed principal dancer by Nureyev during the filming.