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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

On Stage

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nutcracker Ballet: a classic in classic theatre

A holiday wouldn't be a holiday without Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet! The Sioux City Symphony Orchestra and the Siouxland Civic Dance Association join forces to bring this endearing holiday classic to an area audience just in time for Christmas.

It is only fitting to have a classic setting for such a traditional show, so it will be set at the historic restored Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City.

Tickets are on sale now for the December 20 show at 7 p.m. Order tickets online at www.siouxcitysymphony.org for $14 - $36, or call 712-277-2111 for more information.

One of the most beloved musical traditions of the Christmas season, The Nutcracker ballet, was nothing but a thorn in the side of its ever self-critical composer. In early 1891, Tchaikovsky was commissioned to compose the music for a ballet based on E. T. A. Hoffmann's fairy tale. The great composer battles with his choreographer and labored bitterly on the music for two years - a score that is now considered the musical equivalent of Dickens's A Christmas Carol. The sentimentality of the subject matter and its appeal to children has over the years totally captured the popular imagination. The show premiered in St. Petersburg on Dec. 18, 1886. The famous dance of the Sugarplum Fairy is the first use of the celesta (invented in 1886) in an orchestral composition. The story revolves around a little girl captivated when a mysterious guest shows up at a Christmas party with an amazing collection of animated toys that dance for the guests. Clara saves the nutcracker soldier when he comes to life, and joins him on a on a beautiful adventure to the Land of Sweets - all interpreted by the ballet dancers and musicians from northwest Iowa.