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"The Nutcracker," American Style24:55
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We look at why this old world ballet is still an American favorite.

Tiler Peck performs the role of the Sugarplum Fairy in the New York City Ballet's "The Nutcracker." (AP)
Tiler Peck performs the role of the Sugarplum Fairy in the New York City Ballet's "The Nutcracker." (AP)

Just those few bars of music and we all know the score. It’s suddenly dark, winter, magical – and we’re in "The Nutcracker."

It was not Tchaikovsky’s greatest hit when the ballet first opened in St. Petersburg, 1892 — not even his own favorite.  But it’s grown into a national favorite, evolving from an old tale out of Germany, to imperial Russia, to stages all over America.

We look at the story of "The Nutcracker."
-Tom Ashbrook
Guests:

Roland John Wiley, professor of musicology at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance and author of Tchaikovsky.

Jennifer Fisher, professor in the dance department at University of California, Irvine. She's author of Nutcracker Nation: How an Old World Ballet Became a Christmas Tradition in the New World.

Damian Woetzel, former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. He's now the artistic director of the Vail International Dance Festival; the founding Director of the Jerome Robbins Foundation's New Essential Works (NEW) Program; and a cultural producer for the World Science Festival. In November 2009, he was appointed to the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

This program aired on December 10, 2010.

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