Universal Ballet

The Nutcracker

World Premiere Mariinsky Ballet at The Mariinsky Theatre, Russia, 1892
Universal Ballet Premiere The Little Angels Performing Arts Center on December 18, 1986
Original Text E.T.A Hoffman
Choreography Vasily Vainonen
Additional Choreography Adrienne Dellas, Roy Tobias Oleg Vinogradov, Brian Liu
Music Peter I. Tchaikovsky
Staging Oleg Vinogradov
Set Design Simon Virsaladze, Simon Pastukh Myung-Ho Kim
Costume Design Simon Virsaladze, Campbell Baird Galina Solovieva
Lighting Design Nakchoen Kang
Composition 4 scenes and 2 acts
Running Time 1 hour 50 minutes

The Nutcracker, a Wonderful Treat for the Holidays! The Nutcracker is a ballet that is enjoyed all around the world every Christmas by children and adults alike. Along with Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker is one of the three great ballets composed by Peter Tchaikovsky. 

The libretto of the ballet is based on the E. T. A. Hoffman story, “The Nutcracker and the King of the Mice.” The original production of The Nutcracker was created in 1892, with Marius Petipa beginning the choreography, and passing the task on to his assistant Lev Ivanov when his ill health prevented him from proceeding further. Although at first Tchaikovsky was not as excited about the project as he was about The Sleeping Beauty, his interest was finally kindled, and he has produced a beautiful score with many memorable moments. 

The Nutcracker has been re-choreographed more times than any other ballet, and the story has also been adapted many times over the past 100 years, and especially during the last 50 years in the US and Europe. Universal Ballet’s version is adapted from the version choreographed by Vasily Vainonen in 1934, with further adaptations by Oleg Vinogradov. 

Universal Ballet has presented The Nutcracker every year since 1986. Often the first ballet that children come to see, it is also usually the first ballet in which young ballet dancers have the opportunity to perform. This version features students from the Universal Ballet Academy, Julia Ballet Academy and Sunhwa Arts School in the roles of Party Children and Soldiers, Nutcracker and the Sheep in Act II. This version also features a corps of 20 snowflakes, and Grand Pas de Deux in Act II, in which Clara and the Prince are joined by four Cavaliers. Also noteworthy is the Rose Waltz in Act II, with 14 couples in beautiful rose and ivory-colored costumes weaving patterns to Tchaikovsky’s sublime score.