The Nutcracker has become a holiday classic and one of the most popular ballets in the world, but the road from its St. Petersburg premiere in 1892 to annual must-see was neither direct nor easy.
Star-crossed lovers. Immaculate dance moves. Giant robots. If it sounds like the plot of the newest Guillermo del Toro movie, you wouldn’t be too far from the truth. The reality, however, might be even more exciting: Tchaikovsky’s ballet fantasia, Francesca da Rimini, choreographed by Yuri Possokhov and danced by Maria Kochetkova and Joan Boada of San Francisco Ballet—and gorgeously filmed with the aid of a massive, robot-controlled camera.
Although it was also the last of the famed Tchaikovsky-Petipa classics, Swan Lake was actually Tchaikovsky’s first ballet score, according to New York City Ballet. It was commissioned in 1875 by the Moscow Imperial Theater, now the Bolshoi Theatre. Tchaikovsky, who thought that ballet was “the most innocent, the most moral of the arts,” suggested the libretto. Years earlier, as a family entertainment, he had composed a short ballet based on a German fairy tale about a wicked sorcerer who turns young girls into birds.
Free Tchaikovsky on the Esplanade is a Boston tradition. What would the Fourth of July be without the “1812 Overture’’? But free Tchaikovsky ballet—with dancers and a live orchestra—hasn’t been seen on the Esplanade in decades, if ever.
Emerging Pictures presents Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker danced by two of the world’s leading ballet companies in cinemas across the country this month.
Oregon Ballet Theatre’s 21st season will open Oct. 9 with the world premiere of Artistic Director Christopher Stowell’s full-length The Sleeping Beauty. The Tchaikovsky classic is the first full-length work to enter the OBT repertoire since the premiere of Stowell’s Swan Lake in 2006.
If you did an online Google search on May 7, you didn’t see the search engine’s familiar logo on its home page. Instead, there was an oval sketch of a scene from Swan Lake that—if you squinted and had a vivid imagination—looked somewhat like the missing logo.