Over 100 years later, Nutcracker Moves to Virtual World for Performances

The ballet’s performance for the holidays, the Nutcracker strikes new worries for families during the pandemic.


Graphic by Ash Canter

The Russian style ballet was an elegant, expansive feeling sort of dance, while the capital of Moscow’s distinct style was colorful and vibrant in backdrops, clothing and style.

Ash Canter, Bullseye Staff Reporter

The history of the Nutcracker is a classic Christmas story directed by Russian Ivan Vsevolozhsky in 1891 and was first premiered in 1892. The composer made eight other popular pieces, which one is known as The Nutcracker Suite. 

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. The Christmas ballet was first performed outside Russia in England in 1934. The first United States performance was in California.

The Nutcracker ballet originating in Moscow, Russia keeps tradition with bright backdrops and colorful costumes. The revised version shown in America has more silver or toned-down colors.

Its first United States performance was in 1944 by the San Francisco Ballet, staged by its artistic director and Balanchine student William Christensen.” ‘In Europe and the U.S.’

It is generally agreed that Lev Ivanov, Second Balletmaster to the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres, worked closely with Marius Petipa, Premier Maître de Ballet of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres and widely regarded as the Father of Russian Ballet, to create the holiday ballet.

“It was conducted by Riccardo Drigo, with Antoinetta Dell-Era as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Pavel Gerdt as her Prince, Stanislava Belinskaya as Clara/Masha, Sergei Legat as the Nutcracker Prince, and Timofei Stukolkin as Uncle Drosselmeyer.” ‘Performance history In the St. Petersburg premiere’

Tchaikovsky accepted the commission from director of Moscow’s Imperial Theatres, Ivan Vsevolozhsky, writing to a friend while composing the ballet.

“I am daily becoming more and more attuned to my task,” said Vsevolozhsky.

“While we can’t be in the theatre to celebrate the joy of The Nutcracker and the holiday season, The Washington Ballet is working on putting together a delightful virtual Nutcracker experience with behind-the-scenes content, interviews, special performances, and more.” ‘The Nutcracker Virtual Experience’