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Ballet companies the world over perform The Nutcracker during the holiday season, each with a special take on Marius Petipa’s beloved classic. The National Ballet of Canada has one of the finest versions in James Kudelka’s 1995 staging which opens at a Christmas Eve party in rural 19th century Russia. With its non-stop dancing and magnificent sets and costumes designed by Santo Loquasto, with lighting by Jennifer Tipton, The Nutcracker is an unforgettable tribute to the imagination.
For the 2021/22 season, The Nutcracker will be presented with some adaptations to ensure the safety of all involved. All the children’s roles will be performed by students of Canada’s National Ballet School, with no external performers. There will be no children under the age of 12 in the production and all performers and crew will be fully vaccinated. Additionally, the roles of the Cannon Dolls will not be performed by celebrity guests this year.
Squabbling siblings Misha and Marie are attending a Christmas party at their country estate when their mysterious Uncle Nikolai arrives, bearing gifts. These include a beautiful nutcracker doll for Marie who takes it to the nursery that night. Then the magic begins. The clock strikes twelve, the Christmas tree grows to enormous proportions, and Misha and Marie begin their journey to the icy realm of the Snow Queen and golden palace of the Sugar Plum Fairy where they must learn to get along.
James Kudelka served as Resident Choreographer of The National Ballet of Canada following his nine years as Artistic Director. He choreographs in a variety of styles and forms, from original full-length ballets to short contemporary works and remounted classics.
The late 19th century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky created some of the most popular works in the classical repertoire, particularly his three full-length scores for ballet: Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. His body of work includes full-length operas, multiple symphonies and concertos.
“The best Nutcracker on the planet” The Globe and Mail
“★★★★/4 Joy is palpable in this production” Toronto Star
“The Nutcracker: nothing short of spectacular!” National Post
Choreography and Libretto:
James Kudelka, O.C.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Set and Costume Design:
Premiere: The National Ballet of Canada, O’Keefe Centre (now Meridian Hall), Toronto, December 21, 1995
The Nutcracker is made possible by generous financial support from production underwriters Sandra Pitblado & Jim Pitblado, C.M., Lawrence & Ann Heisey and an anonymous friend of the National Ballet.
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