“Dance Is Music Made Visible.” – George Balanchine
The Nutcracker has long been
a familiar, sparkling snow-
dusted entertainment of the
festive holiday season, enjoyed by many families. Ballet,
although one of the most lyrical of the arts, can sometimes be tedious for children, and yet, year in and year out, and in countless productions across the world, this 124-year-old work about Clara and her beloved Nutcracker weaves its
magic on the young and the
young at heart.
“The Nutcracker” ballet is
based on a fairy tale called “The
Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” written by E. T. A. Hoffmann, a Prussian composer and writer, who was one of the most popular authors of German Romanticism.
“The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,”written in 1816, incorporated all the elements, in a story that combines love, mystery, fantasy and mild violence. The ballet version of Hoffman’s convoluted original story was streamlined by French writer Alexandre Dumas in 1844. Dumas called his version “The Story of a Hazelnut-cracker,” and Ivan Alexandrovitch Vsevolojsky had the brilliant idea of adapting the simpler story version into a ballet. He approached choreographer Marius Petipa and composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky with the idea, and thus magic was born!
Two major South Florida ballet companies have Nutcracker performances scheduled in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Review the South Florida event listings on page 5
of the Gazette for Nutcracker dates, times and venues for the Miami City Ballet and the Arts
Ballet Theatre of Florida.