Thursday, 26 December 2013

Between two Nutcrackers

I saw The Nutcracker performed by the Royal Ballet last week and next week I'm off to see a different version at The Coliseum (English National Ballet).  I don't why anyone bothers with boring ballets like Sleeping Beauty or Swan Lake when The Nutcracker is so much better.

But did you know The Nutcracker was originally a complete flop?  In 1892 it was dropped after fourteen performances as neither the critics nor the audience liked it.  

It was over 40 years before its first performance outside Russia (in Sadlers Well in 1934) and 10 years later its first (complete) performance took place in the USA.  Selections of the music were used in Disney's Fantasia with the conductor/narrator declaring that "nobody performs it (the ballet) nowadays".

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