Google has celebrated the 120th anniversary of the Nutcracker with a doodle depicting scenes from the ballet.
The ballet, scored by Tchaikovsky and actioned around Christmas, was first performed alongside his opera Iolanta at the Mariinsky theatre in St Petersburg on 18 December 1892, but had a poor reception. It was not until the 1950s, when George Balanchine re-imagined the choreography, that it became a major international hit. A fantastic international hit, let’s say.
The story of Clara and Hans Peter on the Kingdom of the Sweets was first seen in England in 1934, before reaching the US ten years later. Nowadays the Nutcracker is performed by ballet companies around the globe, commonly over the festive period.
In New York there’s a great performance of this ballet every year, with amazing design scenes coordinated with timeless classic-designed clothes.
Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” was largely unfamiliar to U.S. audiences before 1944. But nowaday the “Nutcracker” remains the earliest American version still in production, and based on Ballet West’s staging earlier this month at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, it’s safe to say that Christensen worked elements from the ballet’s origins in Russia with his own in the U.S.