4 Things You Didn't Know About The Nutcracker

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Each year, when the holiday season comes around, people dream of sugarplum fairies and flock to performances of the Nutcracker. This famous Russian ballet has become synonymous with the holidays, and most people know the basics about the story. However, if you're planning to attend a performance of the Nutcracker this year, you may find it even more enchanting if you know a bit more about the ballet and its history. To that end, here are four things you didn't know about The Nutcracker.

It dates back to the 1890s.

The ballet is even older than most people realize. The first performance took place in St. Petersburg in 1892. It was not a large or famous ballet at the time. Rather, it was one performed by students. That seems fitting since even today, the ballet's popularity means it is a common choice among high schools, colleges, and local performing groups.

The heroine's name has changed.

You probably know the heroine of the play to be Clara. However, in original versions of the ballet, her name was Marichen, and at times, she was even called Marie. The name Clara became more common once the ballet started to be performed in front of American audiences. If you were to watch a performance of the ballet in Russia now, the heroine may even go by the name Marsha.

The dancing is really technical.

Like most people in the audience, you probably focus on the storyline and the music. But for those in the ballet industry, The Nutcracker is famous for a whole other reason. It requires some very technical dancing, even from the dancers in the lesser roles. Thus, performing in The Nutcracker is something ballerinas are often very proud of.

The costumes are a work of art, too.

Think about all of the different characters in The Nutcracker. There are mice, toys come to life, snowflakes danging, fairies... and so much more. Creating all of the costumes for these hundreds of roles is a huge endeavor. In fact, there are some companies that own sets of costumes for The Nutcracker and rent them out, as a unit, to smaller local stage groups who perform the ballet.

Now that you know a little more about The Nutcracker, perhaps you will feel even more enthralled when you attend a performance of this beloved ballet this year. Few things are more reminiscent of the holiday season. For more information, contact ballet companies like the Long Beach Ballet.

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24 June 2019

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