The holidays definitely look and feel different this year but we have done things around the house to try and "normalize" the season as much as possible; setting up our nostalgic holiday decor, making festive treats, face timing our family, and wrapping up presents. Another tradition that we're excited about is watching the Nutcracker! No, it won't be live... BUT there is a silver lining.
This year, ballet companies around the world will be sharing and streaming their performances of this magical production (in some cases, for the first time!), giving audiences the opportunity to experience and watch different versions of the Nutcracker from around the world! The question is, which one should you choose??
Scroll below to find out what Nutcracker performances are on our holiday list and why...!
Nutcracker was first performed a week before Christmas by the Moscow Ballet in 1892 that was set to music by Tchaikovsky and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa. We owe it all to the director of Moscow's Imperial Theatres, Ivan Vsevolozhsky, who commissioned this great work!
Definitely put this on your list if you want to celebrate the original performance of The Nutcracker! Plus, you'll get to take a trip backstage with the cameras for a look at how the magic is made and learn fun insight about the performance and its history from world-class artists, designers, and the creators of this cherished production. Pssstt!! You can even purchase a package that includes an Intimate Artist Meet and Greet over Zoom!
The live stream will be on December 19, 2020 8:00 PM - December 29, 2020 12:00 AM. Click HERE for tickets!
On Christmas Eve, 1944, San Francisco debuted the Nutcracker to American Audiences. After the enormous success of this production, Nutcracker instantly became a holiday tradition that spread across the country to New York City and beyond! Another thing that makes this production unique from other versions, is that it's set in San Francisco. If you look carefully, at the very beginning of the Nutcracker, you'll see Victorian homes similar to those that you'll see on Divisadero street in San Francisco, CA.
During this stream, you and your family will have access to the HD production, tour the virtual opera house full of fun activities, send downloadable holiday snaps to your friends and family, enjoy historical highlights of San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker, AND learn steps from the choreography.
You can stream San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker at your own convenience anytime between November 27 - December 31. Click HERE for tickets!
Like many arts organizations, the Birmingham Royal Ballet had to shut their doors to hosting audiences in their theater for the holiday season. BUT, unlike many ballet companies, they will be streaming a LIVE performance of their Nutcracker (not a pre-recorded version)! Since this is a live performance, go all out! Get dressed up as if you're going to the theater. You could even give your family DIY tickets with assigned seating (who gets which couch cushion or the recliner) and host a fun intermission with bubbles or sparkling grape juice!
Viewers will have the opportunity to experience the production as close to watching it live in the theatre as is possible on Friday 18 December at 7:30pm GMT (11:30am PST/2:30pm ET). Click HERE for tickets!
Why is George Balanchine's version worth seeing? Because it is the most famous stage production of the ballet performed in the U.S. that premiered on February 2, 1954, in New York. Now, many other productions throughout the United States either imitate it or directly use the Balanchine staging. This will be a great performance to celebrate the origination with the most famous New York ballet company and one of the most famous ballet companies in the world!
It has been said that "after it was choreographed by another Russian immigrant to the New World, George Balanchine, the ballet began to thrive and variegate..." The Nutcracker became " a way for Americans to tell a story about their communal values and themselves" Nutcracker Nation: How an Old World Ballet Became a Christmas Tradition in the New World.
Although this will not be a live stream production, it was just filmed last year during the New York City Ballet's 2019 season. Click HERE for tickets!
If you're looking for a unique experience that goes beyond the screen, we highly recommend checking out Oregon's Ballet Theater's production of The Nutcracker! From four-course dinner options (that's delivered to your home!) to exclusive party items for your home celebration to holiday beverages and deserts along with Nutcracker memorabilia, you'll have everything you'll need for the ultimate Nutcracker experience at home.
This event is not an archival viewing of a Nutcracker production. Instead, they will be streaming nostalgic and lighthearted ~20-minute romp through Nutcracker memories from years past to enjoy with your family while munching on holiday treats. This is the ideal option for families with kiddos that might not have the attention span watch to the entire The Nutcracker performance. It's a great way to start introducing them to ballet and maybe afterward, you can watch The Nutcracker and the Four Realms!
We hope that this list sparked some fun ideas for your holiday celebrations at home! Not only will these streamings bring a sense of "normalcy" for you and your family but they also support the immediate future of local and global stages. It's a WIN-WIN!
Comment below to let us know which Nutcracker performance you'll be tuning in for and share how you'll be celebrating the holidays at home!
Merry Christmas from all of us at Red Curtain Addict!