George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” is back in town for its annual presentation of festive dance; since 1954, a Christmastime goody. The New York State Theatre comes alive as the characters Clara, Herr Drosselmeier, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Nutcracker, and an assorted cast of enchantment, emerge through Tchaikovsky‘s immortal music.

There have been countless productions of The Nutcracker and countless interpretations of this very open-to-interpretation work. Choreographers have gone to the heights of the brilliantly sublime to the depths of the nauseatingly ridiculous in their attempts to give this ballet their unique spin. Despite his famous (sometimes infamous) liberties with music and scenario, Balanchine’s  production is considered to be the most faithful to The Nutcracker’s original  conception.

A good review of this year’s The Nutcracker could be found in the NY Times “Reveling in Winter in All Its Warmth” by Alastair Macaulay,  here.

related: Another Season, Another Nutcracker