Three versions of The Nutcracker to play Nashville stages

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NASHVILLE: The Nashville Ballet will present three versions of The Nutcracker during the coming Christmas season.

The origin of the Nutcracker, a classic Christmas Story, is a fairy tale ballet in two acts centered on a family’s Christmas Eve celebration. Alexandre Dumas Père’s adaptation of the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann was set to music by Tchaikovsky and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa. It was commissioned by the director of Moscow’s Imperial Theatres, Ivan Vsevolozhsky, in 1891, and premiered a week before Christmas 1892. Since premiering in western countries in the 1940s, this ballet has become perhaps the most popular to be performed around Christmas time.

The story centers on a young girl’s Christmas Eve and her awakening to the wider world and romantic love. The composer made a selection of eight of the more popular pieces before the ballet’s December 1892 premiere, forming what is currently known as the Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, as is heard in Moscow Ballet productions. The suite became instantly popular; however the complete ballet did not achieve its great popularity as a Christmas performance event until almost 100 years later.

A Hip Hop Nutcracker will be presented on November 25 at TPACs James K. Polk Theatre in Nashville. This version puts a distinctly modern spin of the classic dance. (Video for 2916 performance)

The traditional version Tchaikovsky’s masterwork will then grace the stage at TPACs Andrew Jackson Hall from December 2-24. Call for details on a variety of evening and matinee performances. (Video from 2016 season)

Capping off the holiday season will be a Christmas Eve performance of the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker.

The theatre is located at 505 Deaderick Street in Nashville. For ticket information, visit the box office online.

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About Author

Christine Anne Piesyk has been a journalist for more than 45 years. Her credits include positions as Editor in Chief, Managing Editor, Staff Writer specializing in education, leisure living, food and arts and entertainment. She was co-producer, writer and on air persona for the Entertainment Review for 25 years. In "retirement," she finds herself working on online websites and as a book editor. In her other life, she is a costumer in her daughter's company, Gemini Dream Designs.

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