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Updated: Mar 15

The history of the Nutcracker ballet dates back to the 19th century and was created by Russian composer Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and French choreographer Marius Petipa. The libretto was written by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, director of the Imperial Theaters of Russia at the time.

The Nutcracker ballet premiered in December 1892, at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is inspired by a shorter version of a Christmas tale called "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King", written by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann in 1816.

The story tells of a young girl named Clara, who receives a nutcracker in the shape of a soldier as a gift at a Christmas party hosted by her godfather, Drosselmeyer. During the night, Clara discovers that her nutcracker has come to life, and she finds herself immersed in an enchanted world where toys come to life.

The Nutcracker, who has turned into a prince, takes Clara to the Candy Kingdom, where they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy. They attend a dance performance with fantastic characters such as the Arab Dancer, Chinese Tea, Mother Gigogne and her Polichinelles, as well as the Russian Dancer.

The ballet also features an episode of combat between the soldiers of the Nutcracker and the mice led by the Mouse King. Clara comes to the prince's aid by throwing her slipper at the Mouse King, which throws him off balance and allows the Nutcracker to defeat him.

At the end of the ballet, Clara wakes up at home, wondering if it was all real or just a dream.

"The Nutcracker" was initially poorly received by audiences and critics alike when first performed, but quickly became one of the most popular and performed ballets around the world.

Tchaikovsky's musical compositions, such as the famous "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" and the "Waltz of the Flowers", are among the most beloved and performed classical pieces in the history of music.

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