One of the most iconic holiday events in New York City has to be the presentation of the ballet “The Nutcracker” offered by The New York City Ballet. The all-out dazzling version of the holiday story is on view at The David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center through January 3. Lincoln Center is located between West 62nd and 65th Streets and Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues; call the box office at (212) 870-5570 for tickets. On December 12, a special children’s workshop is being offered at 12:45 PM.
The glory of this “Nutcracker,” originally choreographed by George Balanchine, is the combination of the incredible scenery and costumes and the dancers’ incredible technical prowess.
And then, of course, there’s the tree.
The “growing” Christmas tree on stage, perhaps the most famous part of the production, tops pretty much everything else in the ballet, leaving audience members literally gasping.
Our heroine has attended a holiday party given by her parents and received a toy Nutcracker from her uncle. After it is broken by roughhousing boys, she sneaks out to find it in the middle of the night. She then becomes embroiled in a battle with the mouse king and his henchman fighting against the Nutcracker (now come to life), witnesses the tree growing to an enormous size, and then finally is whisked off with her prince to the Land of Sweets.
Well, it makes sense when you see it.
For you nostalgia buffs: The production originated in 1954, and the Grandmother’s cape and the embroidered appliqués on the women’s costumes in the Tea Dance are from that original ballet.
And about that tree…it grows to a height of 41 feet and weighs (drumroll) one ton.
But the dancing is pretty good too.
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