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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

Pacific Northwest Ballet / Seattle / Art

2020 was the year without The Nutcracker, but now, Thank God, it’s back. George Balanchine’s production, choreographed in 1954 for the six-year-old New York City Ballet, is lovingly rooted in the original Mariinsky production, created in 1892 by Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Balanchine, who’d been a student at the Mariinsky, knew the ballet well, and many think his Nutcracker is the best of them all. A beloved New York City tradition, it is also a tradition at many ballet companies around the world. The Pacific Northwest Ballet has especially close ties to NYCB. Since 1977 its artistic directors have been NYCB alumni—first co-directors Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, and then, since 2005, Peter Boal. The richly colored sets and costumes were designed by the illustrator Ian Falconer. —L.J.

Pacific Northwest Ballet McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer Street, Seattle, WA 98109
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