At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries Russian ballet entered into the most brilliant period of its history. The success of the Nutcracker was because Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s music and the immortal Marius Petipa wrote its stage direction on the basis of E. T. A. Hoffman’s fairy-tale “The Nutcracker and The Mouse King”. Lev Ivanov created the choreography of the ballet.
The first performance of the ballet “The Nutcracker” took place on the 6th of December 1892 on the stage of The Mariinsky theatre. But this ballet has been changing all through the 20th century. Why?
Pyotr Tchaikovsky appreciated outstanding achievements of the renowned choreographer Marius Petipa. As it turned out the music for "The Nutcracker" was rather difficult for adaptation to the stage because the composer was seeking to create this music as a symphony not a ballet musical, and secondly, the level of ballet of that period wasn’t as high as the level of the symphony music. Marius Petipa didn’t want to retell the story of this family party and gave his pupil, Lev Ivanov, the opportunity to make his own choreography of the ballet but according to his stage direction. That’s why a great number of choreographers in the future have had the opportunity to give their own interpretations to this ballet. After Lev Ivanovm, such famous choreographers as Alexander Gorsky, Fedor Lopukhov, Vasily Vainonen, Yury Grigorovich, and others were some of them. Each of them were influenced by the previous choreographers and offered a new version of this world famous ballet based on the thrilling and tragical music of the great composer.
At the Hermitage theatre, the premiere of "The Nutcracker" was held on the 13th of January, 2007. Under the stage direction of Vasily Vainonen the ballet was performed to the great delight of the audience. Brilliant dancers such as Veronica Ivanova and Nikita Shcheglov, Natalia Bashkirtseva and Yury Mirov performed in rolrs of Masha and the Nutcracker. Colorful celebrations, fantastic tricks, beautiful dolls the Christmas-tree with bright lights, the aerial dance of snowflakes and the touching story of Masha and the Nutcracker left the audience in awe of the spectacle.