The Nutcracker Signals Christmas Is Coming!

Temperatures are dropping, snow is falling, and turkeys are getting nervous. That perfect storm can only mean one thing: the holidays are upon us. Indeed, Thanksgiving is just over a week away with Hanukkah and Christmas right on its heels. And, with those, come a few standard bits of entertainment fair. The Rockettes bust out their Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Manheim Steamroller takes to the road, and The Nutcracker makes its way to stages large and small around the U.S.

 

Though December 18 will mark The Nutcracker‘s official 120th anniversary, the beloved Tchaikovsky masterpiece really didn’t come into its own until the late 1960s. Since that time, ballet troupes across the country—and the world—have embraced the holiday-themed piece and made it a staple. This year, hundreds of productions will be staged.

 

Having had its premiere in St. Petersburg,the ballet boasts Russian roots, so the Moscow Ballet’s Nutcracker in Moose Jaw, Saskatoon; Dallas, Texas; Monroe, Louisiana; Montgomery, Alabama; Knoxville, Tennessee; and other cities should be a sight to see. The State Ballet Theatre of Russia’s Nutcracker in Richmond, Virginia, might also be well-worth the price of admission.

 

Moscow Ballet: The Great Russian Nutcracker 2012 Itinerary

Monroe, Louisiana

Dallas, Texas

Montgomery, Alabama

Jackson, Mississippi

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Metropolis, Illinois

Little Rock, Arkansas

Rapid City, South Dakota

Wheeling, West Virginia

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Cleveland, Ohio

Rosemont, Illinois

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Albany, New York

Rochester, New York

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Baltimore, Maryland

Los Angeles, California

El Paso, Texas

Stateline, Nevada

Greensboro, North Carolina

Cupertino, California

Knoxville, Tennessee

North Charleston, South Carolina

Beaumont, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

 

Other stagings of note across North America include performances as far-flung as the Goh Ballet’s Nutcracker in Vancouver, British Columbia, and The Nutcracker danced by the Boston Ballet in Massachusetts.

 

Interestingly, some cities will have more than one version of the Christmas classic from which to choose. In Richmond, for instance, in addition to the State Ballet Theatre, the Richmond Ballet’s Nutcrackeris also an option. Likewise, the Goh Ballet must compete with Max & Ruby’s Nutcracker Suite in Vancouver for audience members—or not. The latter production is geared very much toward youngsters. Max & Ruby will also hit Edmonton, Alberta; Wallingford, Connecticut; and Indianapolis, Indiana, among many other stops, most of which are in Canada.

 

Max & Ruby’s Nutcracker Suite 2012 Itinerary

Kelowna, British Columbia

Red Deer, Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta

Fort Macleod, Alberta

Calgary, Alberta

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Regina, Saskatchewan

Racine, Wisconsin

Indianapolis, Indiana

Wabash, Indiana

Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

Westbury, New York

Tarrytown, New York

Wallingford, Connecticut

Hamilton, Ontario

Peterborough, Ontario

Toronto, Ontario

Mississauaga, Ontario

Ottawa, Ontario

Pembroke, Ontario

Watertown, New York

North Tonawanda, New York

Guelph, Ontario

Oshawa, Ontario

London, Ontario

Chatham, Ontario

Windsor, Ontario

 

It doesn’t so much matter where you are or what version of The Nutcracker you see, just hearing the glory of Tchaikovsky’s compositions brought to life is the main point. Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, and the Sugar Plum Fairy are all just icing on the cake. Such is the import of The Nutcracker that George Balanchine, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mark Morris, and many other dance legends have taken it on over the decades.

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