The Nutcracker by Vainonen after Petipa and Ivanov, music by Tchaikovsky

Alina Somova (Masha the Princess), Vladimir Shklyarov (The Nutcracker Prince), Alexandra Korshunova (Masha)... – Mariinsky Theater Ballet Company

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Simon Virsaladze — Set designer

Alina Somova — Masha the Princess

Vladimir Shklyarov — The Nutcracker Prince

Alexandra Korshunova — Masha

Vladimir Ponomaryov — Stahlbaum

Alexandra Gronskaya — Stahlbaum's wife

Alena Mashintseva — Luisa

Pavel Miheyev — Franz

Fyodor Lopukhov — Drosselmeyer

Lira Khuslamova — The Grandmother

Stanislav Burov — The Grandfather

Valeria Karpina — The Nanny

Pavel Miheyev — The Nutcracker

Konstantin Ivkin — Clown

Yana Selina — Doll

Soslan Kulaev — The Mouse King

Program notes

A classic among classics, Tchaikovsky’s fantastical masterpiece is presented here with Vainonen's choreography, the version most popular in Russia. The Étoile dancers Alina Somova and Vladimir Shklyarov light up a stage decked in scenery designed by Simon Virsaladze, accompanied the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra led by the legendary maestro Valery Gergiev.

The story goes that Petipa and Tchaikovsky met at the Mariinsky Theatre during a performance of Minkus and Petipa’s ballet La Bayadère. When Petipa walked on stage for the curtain call, he turned toward the Tchaikovksy’s box and exclaimed, “If only the greatest Russian composer could write for our theater!” Sleeping Beauty (1890), The Nutcracker (1892), and Swan Lake (1895) were the result of the superb artistic partnership that followed.

Petipa’s libretto was inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s French version of the tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. In 1934, Vainonen created a new choreography that came to be considered the epitome of classical ballet. Vainonen's choreography is performed here by the prestigious Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and Ballet.

Photo: © Valentin Baranovsky 2012


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