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Which is your favourite version of The Nutcracker and why?


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10 minutes ago, cubanmiamiboy said:

No...it is not. I was referencing to Sir Peter Wright's or Alonso's . They both come from direct links to the Imperial Ballet-( Sir Peter Wright's via N. Sergueev/Markova and Alonso having learned it herself from A. Fedorova, an Imperial era dancer). 

Both are pretty much preserved and well passed into the XXI Century. 

Thanks for the clarification! 

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My all-time favourite production is Sir Peter Wright's 1990 production for Birmingham Royal Ballet, which he made as a gift to the city when the company moved there.

I really like the party scene, which often can feel as though it drags but which just flows in this production.  It took me many years to work out how one of the magic tricks is done (and boy did I feel foolish when I realised!).  And then on to the transformation scene, which is the best bar none.  It still thrills me after all these years and I still get a lump in my throat as the Rat King marches out of the fireplace.  When the Nutcracker comes alive in human form there is the most beautiful duet for him and Clara - so beautiful I never seem to see the scene transforming to the snow kingdom!

This really is a production to savour.



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None of the Russians for sure. Both Vainonen's pseudo Rose Adagio and Grigorovitch bizarre candelabra/praying stuff made me cringe.

Balanchine's for its adherence to the original libretto, speed, witty choreo, for the kids, best tree transformation and of course...snow and flowers.

Sir Peter Wright's for its preserved Grand Pas, best costumes and scenery.

Alicia Alonso after Alexandra Fedorova. Because it is the one I grew up with and the linkage it contains to old school ballet-( ca. Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo/Ballet Theater 1940's)

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On 12/16/2018 at 5:27 AM, California said:

My sentimental favorite will always be the 1976 Baryshnikov version and I'm so glad it's still available on tape so younger people can see two such exquisite dancers in their prime in several lovely PdD (and that pas de trois in Act II!). (And no kids! Sorry, but that's usually just so much filler to sell tickets to parents and family.)


This would have to by my favorite as well due to my own personal nostalgia, my love for the beautiful pas de deux for Kirkland and Baryshnikov, and the Buffoon Pas de Quatre.  Sadly this version did not allow for showcasing as many dancers as other productions.  I think the Nutcracker is a great opportunity to show off lower ranking dancers.  I also happen to enjoy the Motion Picture Nutcracker from PNB with the amazing Maurice Sendak designs.  The cast for that ballet was amazing.


Of course I think the best version would be Balanchine's.  More recently I have become a fan of Mikko Nissinen's version for Boston Ballet.  It features a Clara who is professional level student.  

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