The ballet, which is performed by dozens of groups worldwide primarily during the Christmas season, includes such well-known characters as Clara and Fritz, Herr Drosselmeyer, the Nutcracker-Prince, the Sugar Plum Fairy, Harlequin, and the Mouse King.
The music in Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is among his most beloved. It contains some of his most memorable melodies, several which are frequently used in television and film, as well as in TV commercials. One of the most recognizable pieces is The “Trepak,” or “Russian Dance,” along with the famous “Waltz of the Flowers,” and the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”
This is the 39th anniversary year of “The Nutcracker,” presented by Inland Dance Theatre. Diane Amendt is in her 32st year as its artistic director. Evette DeMarco Swinson is the rehearsal director and choreographer.
The 80-plus-member cast of all ages is made up of amateur and professional dancers and actors from throughout Southern California.
The two-act ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was originally staged on Dec.18, 1891 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Tchaikovsky adapted his ballet from the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann titled “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.”
The first complete performance of “The Nutcracker” outside of Russia was in England in 1934. An abridged version of the ballet was staged in New York City In 1940.The first complete performance in the U.S. was in San Francisco in December 1944. The New York City Ballet presented its first performance of George Balanchine’s staging of “The Nutcracker in 1944.
It was the first production of what was to become an annual tradition by the New York City Ballet.
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