The Nutcracker | New York City Ballet

by Naomi Young

When world famous choreographer George Balachine created the New York City Ballet in 1933, among the first performances he put on was the much-loved Nutcracker, set to the beautiful music written by Peter Tschaikovsky. Since then, one of the most popular Christmas traditions among New Yorkers and visitors to the city has been a visit to the theater to see one of the most beautiful ballets ever performed.

Ballet patrons are immediately transported to the magical world of fantasy and dreams from the moment that the show begins. The dancing in this version of the Nutcracker has been described as world-class – a standard that has come to be expected from such as prestigious ballet company. In addition, some of the best sets, instruments and lighting are used to create an all-encompassing audio and visual delight. Nearly 60 people work backstage to ensure that scenery, lighting and costumes are coordinated to perfection. During the entire production, over 600 lighting instruments are used to create breathtaking scenes, including the trademark giant, 1-ton Christmas tree on stage, that grows to a full height of 41 feet.

The Nutcracker incorporates the highly professional team of dancers from the New York City Ballet of all ages, including young children. Costumes are designed for all participants and there are an average of 150 magnificent costumes onstage for each performance of the show. The audience will never forget the Sugar Plum Fairy’s tutu, which is made up of 7 layers of tulle!

One of the reasons that the Nutcracker is so popular is Tschaikowsky’s incredibly haunting music on which the tale is based. Over 60 musicians play in the orchestra during a typical performance, bringing home the magic of 19th century theater and culture.

The Nutcracker traditionally runs from the last week of November to the final days of the year and should definitely be slated in as a ‘must-see’ in any itinerary these holidays.

Click for the official site of the New York City Ballet – The Nutcracker.

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