The English National Ballet's 2016 production of 'The Nutcracker' at the London Coliseum in London, England
© Robbie Jack/Corbis via Getty Image
An enchanting performance
Every December, countless ballet companies perform ‘The Nutcracker.’ The ballet has become an iconic holiday entertainment staple, produced around the world. This photo captures a scene from the 2016 production by the English National Ballet at the London Coliseum. The company has been performing 'The Nutcracker' there for 20 years. Unfortunately, given the pandemic, the performance has been cancelled this year.
It's perhaps the world's most indomitable ballet today, but when 'The Nutcracker' premiered on December 18, 1892, in St. Petersburg, Russia, it was far from a hit. Some critics appreciated Tchaikovsky’s score, but most found the choreography and dancing 'amateurish' and 'insipid.' Largely forgotten by the early 20th century, 'The Nutcracker' made its U.S. debut with a performance by the San Francisco Ballet company in 1944. It became a true Christmastime classic when choreographer George Balanchine staged his own 1954 production with the New York City Ballet. Balanchine’s version caught on and inspired other dance companies to perform it themselves.