Is Your “Nutcracker” Traditional?

My old pal Alastair Macaulay gives us 10 ways to know for sure: ‘The “Nutcracker” season is upon us — but what’s a “Nutcracker”? And why should anyone care? Before I ever saw it, the idea of “The Nutcracker” seemed to embody all that was trivial about ballet: overfamiliar hit tunes, dancing children, dancing toys, dancing sweets. Yet those standard numbers change when you hear them in context. And those children, toys and sweets become moving in a production that takes childhood seriously. The ballet, building brilliantly, is one of the great 19th-century children’s stories.

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