No, every performance of The Nutcracker is not the same. Since it premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1892, with a score from Tchaikovsky and based on an E.T.A. Hoffmann tale about a nutcracker and a mouse king, it has gone through numerous iterations by various choreographers from across the globe. Today it has become the most popular ballet of all time, and because of that success, we get a choice of those stylistic variations yearly in December.
The production by the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, under the direction of Vladimir Issaev, has become one of the standards, staying true to the original classic Russian version while adding some cosmopolitan Miami twists. For instance, there are six Japanese dancers, several from Venezuela, one from Cuba, and a North American or two. But the magic of The Nutcracker wherever it is staged is that it’s truly universal — the mouse king, the snow queen, and the sugarplum fairy remain endearing figures, no matter how many times they have been interpreted and seen, and the music remains timeless.
Dec. 13-15, 2013