Ballet companies all over the world 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 staging from 1995, which opens at a Christmas Eve party in rural 19th century Russia. With non-stop dancing and magnificent sets and costumes from Santo Loquasto with lighting by Jennifer Tipton, The Nutcracker is an unforgettable tribute to the imagination.
Arguing siblings Misha and Marie attend 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 journey to lands of ice and sweets 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.
Choreography and Libretto:
James Kudelka, O.C.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Set and Costume Design:
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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