As New York City gears up the holiday festivities, one of the oldest and most treasured holiday traditions is the yearly performance of the The Nutcracker Ballet. Be it young children in their first dance to the music of Tchaikovsky, or professional ballet companies practicing tirelessly to bring new energy to such a familiar classic, no holiday season is complete without seeing a performance of the ballet.
Most are familiar with the story of the ballet: a girl receives a nutcracker for Christmas and gets drawn into a magical world of love and brave nutcrackers fighting the Mouse King. The story of the Nutcracker was originally based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tale, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Alexandre Dumas Père wrote an adaptation titled The Tale of the Nutcracker, and Marius Petipa simplified the adaption and choreographed it for the ballet with music set by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. According to the Moscow Ballet, the director of Moscow’s Imperial Theatres, Ivan Vsevolozhsky, commissioned the ballet in 1891. In 1892, a week before Christmas, the ballet was premiered.
According to the National Post, although Czar Alexander III thoroughly enjoying the ballet, the critics and audience found the choreography confusing. Despite the negative reviews, everyone loved the music, so the ballet toured the world using different choreographies. It first reached the United States in 1944, landing in San Fransisco.
It wasn’t until George Balanchine choreographed the ballet for the New York City Ballet in 1954 that the Christmas Ballet as we know it began to unfold. From that point on, everyone followed Balanchine’s choreography and the ballet became a mainstay of Christmas and of New York City.
Whether you are seeing your child’s first performance of the ballet at their school, or taking a trip to the Lincoln Center to see the New York City Ballet bring Balanchine’s and Tchaikovsky’s brilliance to life, remove the stress of parking and book with ParkJockey. We have locations throughout the Upper West Side, Midtown, and all throughout New York City. Wherever your travels take you, ParkJockey’s got you covered!
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