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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Television: Battle of the Nutcrackers

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I believe that Maurice Sendak designed the sets and some costumes. However, double-check me- I have a mind like a steel sieve!! :D


As a Seattle native, I can confirm the Sendak/PNB connection, and having seen the PNB version many seasons in my youth, I'll say it's even more stunning than the film version conveys. It's definitely my favorite Nutcracker. There was a book version illustrated by Sendak, published in 1984, with the classic story by ETA Hoffman. While much of my childhood library has been passed on to other children, this is one of the books I've kept and revisit each year around this time. You can still get the book at Amazon.com though it appears to be frequently out of stock.


This would be a lovely gift for any aspiring Mouse King or Marie.

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On our sister board, Ballet Talk, one of our most perceptive contributors has observed that the Morris work, The Hard Nut, is a dance theater work enjoyable on its own terms, but even though it uses the same music, it is emphatically NOT The Nutcracker. To have placed it in a viewer-driven popularity survey with the actual real show(s) was cynical and Grinchy. The people who televiewed and voted would be unlikely to view the Morris OR the Balanchine if they were presented live in a real theater.

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I've tivoed all of these but haven't watched them all. I surprisingly really liked the Matthew Bourne version, very inovative and interesting. I've seen NYCB live in Manhattan - it's great - but I also really liked the Bolshoi. I've still got to find time to see the PNB and Mark Morris version.

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