George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™

by George Balanchine, music by Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky
December 11, 2015 to December 31, 2015 Academy of Music

Escape to the Land of Sweets for the Philadelphia region’s most beloved holiday tradition, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. For 46 years, families have created yuletide memories with Pennsylvania Ballet’s production of this classic tale. The simple story of a girl, a gift, and a fanciful dream is made magical by opulent sets and costumes, the charm of The School of Pennsylvania Ballet students, and the impassioned artistry of Pennsylvania Ballet dancers. The celebrated Philadelphia Boys Choir raises their voices with the magnificent Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra to bring Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score to life.
 
MUSIC
CASTING HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED!
DEC 11- DEC 18
DEC. 19 - DEC. 24
DEC 26. - DEC. 31
All casting is subject to change.

George Balanchine

GEORGE BALANCHINE
 
Born on January 22, 1904, in St. Petersburg, Russia, George Balanchine studied ballet and music in Russia before making his way to America. He gained notoriety as a young choreographer and co-founded the American Ballet. Balanchine was the co-founder, artistic director and chief choreographer of the New York City Ballet, and nearly every ballet company in the world has performed his work. He died in New York City in 1983.
 
George Balanchine began his training at the Mariinsky Theatre’s ballet school and after graduating he attended the Petrograd State Conservatory of Music. In 1922, George Balanchine married a 15-year-old ballet student named Tamara Gevergeyeva. This was the first of four separate marriages to dancers, and for each of his wives, Balanchine would make a ballet.
 
In 1924, Balanchine was invited to tour Germany as part of the Soviet State Dancers. A year later, the young choreographer joined Serge Diaghilev's Ballet Russes. At just 21 years old, Balanchine took over as choreographer for the group, one of the most renowned ballet companies in the world.
 
After the Ballet Russes collapsed, Balanchine created the company Les Ballets in 1933. Following a performance, American dance aficionado Lincoln Kirstein approached Balanchine about collaboration and the two began a 50-year creative partnership, co-founding the School of American Ballet in 1934. The following year, the professional company known as the American Ballet emerged, becoming the official company of New York's Metropolitan Opera until 1936.
 
In 1946, Kirstein and Balanchine co-founded a company that would become the New York City Ballet. Balanchine served as artistic director of the company, based out of New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. He produced more than 150 works for the company, including "The Nutcracker." While money was tight, Balanchine presented the dancers in practice clothes instead of ornate costumes.
 
In addition to ballet, George Balanchine choreographed Hollywood movies and Broadway musicals. He is known for his connection to Igor Stravinsky; Balanchine created many ballets to his work, some in collaboration with the composer. He made more than 465 works, which have been performed by nearly every ballet company in the world.
 
Balanchine created plotless ballets, where the dancing upstaged glitz and storytelling. His work never featured a star, as he believed the performance should outshine the individual. He is credited with developing the neo-classical style distinct to the 20th century. Balanchine served as the artistic director of the New York City Ballet until his death, on April 30, 1983, in New York City.
 
George Balanchine. (2015). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 10:56, Aug 03, 2015, from http://www.biography.com/people/george-balanchine-9196284.With edits made.

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