Christmas magic: The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky is my all-time favorite music; it conjures images of dancing snowflakes, sugar plum fairies, and of course, Christmas. The ballet is whimsical, the dancers magical, and the music red snowflakeenchanting. The music remains consistent with each production and the differences and variations in the interpretation of the story, sets, choreography, and costuming is wonderful to see. I have four versions of the Nutcracker and I enjoy them all although I must admit the 1977 production with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland is my absolute favorite. The Nutcracker has become an American Christmas tradition and is a wonderful way to introduce kids to the ballet.

(Amazon sells 20 different versions on DVD dating from 1965 to 2012 that include performances by Nureyev, the Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and yes, Baryshnikov, so take your pick.)

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