Since 1968, George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” has been a yearly tradition at the Pennsylvania Ballet. Set to the music of Tchaikovsky, audiences are swept away to the Land of Sweets and filled with the holiday spirit as they follow the adventures of Marie and her Prince. We chat with the Artistic Director, Angel Corella, about what to expect this season, making ballet accessible for kids with disabilities and how Philly compares to his hometown of Madrid.
What has made “The Nutcracker” so popular over the years?
I think it has to do with the music, the story, how involved it is with the celebration of dreams coming true. Especially in that period of the year — it is such a hopeful moment for all human beings. “The Nutcracker” is a representation of that. We've heard the music so much in so many different places — shopping malls and on the radio. Everywhere. It is so familiar that it has become a tradition. It also represents being able to share the holiday with your family — with beautiful music and beautiful dancing. We actually are doing thirty one performances this year and I am planning to go to every single one of them.
Is there anything unique we can look forward to this season?
We always bring something new even with a show that has been done before. Every dancer has a different approach and although they are the same steps, the ballet could look completely different depending on who is dancing it. But, we are going to continue the tradition of George Balanchine’s “Nutcracker” and every year just the dancing improves. Dancers can jump higher and they can hold positions longer — they can turn multiple turns…