When the Nutcracker premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia more than a century ago, critics hated it. But now it’s become what might be the most popular ballet in the world. For many, it’s a holiday tradition.
There are at least a dozen productions of The Nutcracker around LA this month. Here are some of them:
Miami City Ballet, the new George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at the Music Center:
A traditional production featuring George Balanchine’s 1955 choreography, which made the ballet famous in the United States for the first time. All-new sets, and costumes designed by Isabel Toledo.
Los Angeles Ballet, The Nutcracker, various theaters:
Features original choreography by Los Angeles Ballet co-artistic directors Thordal Christensen & Colleen Neary, but still uses the classic Tchaikovsky score. Loosely follows story of the original Nutcracker, but re-set in Los Angeles in 1912.
Debbie Allen’s Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center:
A re-imagining of The Nutcracker with an original score by Mariah Carey and choreography by Debbie Allen. Set in New Orleans in 1928 with wisecracking mice, Bollywood dancers and other new characters and scenes.
Los Angeles Contemporary Ballet, The Nutcracker Suite:
This is a one-hour, immersive version of the ballet with original choreography by ACB artistic director Lincoln Jones, set to Tchaikovsky’s score. Jones isn’t giving away too much about the production ahead of time, but says the audience will step “inside a three-dimensional experience of the ultimate winter fantasy.” Kid friendly.