Ballet Nuts Select Morris “Hard Nut”

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Since everything on TV is a competition these days, it was inevitable that ballet become part of America’s unending Cultural Sweepstakes. The battleground was “The Nutcracker,” with Ovation TV allowing viewers to select which of four versions of the classic that they preferred. The winner, just announced, is “The Hard Nut,” Mark Morris‘s version of the Tchaikovsky (pictured, right). I can’t say I’m surprised: the Morris is scathing, camp, and often very funny. I have to confess, however, that in matters nut-cracking I’m a classicist: nothing will ever induce me to surrender my preference for the Balanchine version (pictured, left), which I saw earlier this month at New York City Ballet after a hiatus of several years. And yes, Virginia, I cried. Ovation will be replaying all four “Nutcrackers” throughout the day today. The other two are by the Bolshoi Ballet and from British choreographer Matthew Bourne.

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