New York City Ballet performs the Nutcracker


Courtesy of Georgina Cahill ’16

Courtesy of Georgina Cahill '16
Courtesy of Georgina Cahill ’16

Every Christmas season, thousands flock to Lincoln Center to recapture childhood Christmas memories with the New York City Ballet company’s performance of The Nutcracker. Captivating the audience with festive scenery and talented dancers, The Nutcracker spreads the holiday spirit among both children and adults .

Wednesday, December 18, is The Nutcracker’s one hundred and twentieth birthday. The Nutcracker was first performed in 1892 at the Mayinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, and has since been performed in different locations worldwide. The play was revolutionized by choreographer George Balanchine, who brought the show to New York City in 1964. celebrated worldwide by various countries that have productions of The Nutcracker every holiday season.

Since then, every Christmas season the New York City Ballet company  performs The Nutcracker at various venues, including the Lincoln Center in New York City. For most ballet companies, The Nutcracker is the “highest-earning performance of the year”(National Post). Each year, the dancers perform once or twice a day, almost every day, for 21 consecutive weeks, starting in December.

Currently consisting of approximately 90 highly-trained dancers, the New York City Ballet company is the  largest dance organization in the United States. Its performances incorporate the original choreography of George Balanchine, co-founder of the company, and Jerome Robbins.

Mrs. Natalia Galanin, a former New York City Ballet company dancer, experienced firsthand the amount of preparation necessary for a successful performance of The Nutcracker.

“Preparing for the show was all about precision and synchronization. Your part, however small, was just a piece in a larger performance, so you had to be on time and in the right place, always,” she said.

In addition to the months of practice that the dancers endure in preparation for the show, once onstage, the dancers undergo the pressure to perform with precision and perfection in front of a substantial audience.

“You feel as though you are under a microscope and everyone is watching you,” Mrs. Galanin said. “You have to perform flawlessly.”

The New York City Ballet company’s production of The Nutcracker  appeals to a variety of audiences, ranging from young children who enjoy the Christmas energy of the show to teenagers and adults who appreciate the intricacy of the dancers and the beauty of the stage.

For many families,watching the unique ballet display at the Lincoln Center has become an annual family tradition.

“I have seen The Nutcracker probably about four times,” Convent of the Sacred Heart freshman Margot Butler said. “My family and I always used to go and see the ballet in the city around Christmas time. It used to be one of our traditions.”

With a talented group of dancers to showcase the magical and rich history of this popular production, The Nutcracker is a must-see for families this Christmas season.

– Alexandra Dimitri, Staff Writer