Week of December 14-18, 2020
The Nutcracker Week
In 1816, Prussian author E.T.A. Hoffmann penned his holiday story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Years later, French author Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers) adapted the story to make it more lighthearted and a little less scary for children.
Following the success of The Sleeping Beauty, choreographer Marius Petipa and composer Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky set off to turn Dumas’ version into their next commissioned ballet The Nutcracker, which premiered in 1892.
The original production was not very successful. With the exception of Tchaikovsky’s score, the critics and audiences did not have many positive things to say about their ballet.
The Nutcracker’s first complete performance in the United States was performed by San Francisco Ballet in 1944. It instantly became a holiday traditional and the company has annually performed the ballet until this year. This tradition slowly spread across the rest of the United States beginning in the 1960s, where The Nutcracker could be seen from coast to coast.
American Ballet Theatre has performed three productions of The Nutcracker over its 80-year history.
While ABT will not be performing this holiday favorite this year, ABTKids Daily is here to bring you some holiday cheer and enough Nutcracker to get you through the year!