On Saturday, December 7, Moscow Ballet presented the “Great Russian Nutcracker” in two performances on the Kings Theatre stage in Flatbush.
Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker,” premiered at St. Petersburg’s Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in 1892, and has since become a Christmas staple all over the globe.
Adapted from E.T.A. Hoffman’s story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” the ballet tells the tale of a young girl’s adventure into a magical land on Christmas Eve, after befriending a nutcracker that comes to life.
Traditionally performed as a classical ballet, “The Nutcracker” today has been interpreted in a variety of dance styles, including hip-hop, tap, reggae and hula.
Through November and December, Moscow Ballet’s annual holiday tour, produced by Talmi Entertainment, makes stops in more than 140 cities across the U.S. and Canada.
The company’s version of the show brings Tchaikovsky’s musical cosmos to life with three companies of 36 award-winning ballerinas each, performing simultaneously in different corners of the nation.
Dancers are dressed in dazzling period costumes, sashaying traverse intricate, hand-painted sets. Following the historic Russian theatrical tradition, Saturday’s staging features looming 12-foot-tall Unicorn, Elephant, Bull and Bear puppets designed by Valentin Federov.
The production also showcases flying puppets created in South Africa, such as the Dove of Peace, Firebird and a new Peacock with a vibrant, eight-foot-wide tail. The ballet’s story is foretold by a European-style Toy Theatre and rod puppets made in Prague, a city with a centuries-long legacy of puppetry.
In many of its tour cities, Moscow Ballet implements signature Community Engagement programs such as “Dance with Us,” “New Horizons – A Children’s Program for Life,” and “Musical Wunderkind,” providing interactive art experiences for children of all ages and abilities.