Header  Nutcracker 2013
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" Choreographer Andrew Rist's classic interpretation focuses on telling the story through the dramatic flow of the dancing. Notable for its stunning design and energetic performances, this 'Nutcracker' make the children a vital part of the story .         - PIONEER PRESS -

   H I S T O R Y          S T O R Y          2001 Photos         2009 Photos        2010 Photos         2011 Photos       2012 Photos         2013 Photos           AndrewRist        Cheryl Rist
Nutcracker Act 2    2013

A C T   1   . . . . . .   L I V I N G   R O O M

Choreographer ....... Andrew Rist
Composer .............. T chaikovsky
Costumes ............... Cheryl Rist
Backdrops .............. Mary Novodvorsky
Sets ........................
Jim Arnold, Cythia Betz
Lighting ..................
Kevin Jones
Photography .......... Chris Emeott

Brief Ballet Minnesota
Nutcracker History

    1989:  Andrew Rist choreographs parts of the Nutcracker in St Paul, Minnesota. It is presented as a lecture/demonstration to about 200 people by Classical Ballet Academy of Minnesota.

    1990: Classic Nutcracker (chor: A Rist) presented by Ballet Minnesota. The production is presented at the St Paul Student Center Theater, University of MN St Paul campus, seating capacity 330.

    1996:  Ballet Minnesota moves the production to O'Shaughnessy, St Paul, Minnesota, seating capacity 1800.

    2002:  Milestone - 10,000 audience members

    2012:  25th Anniversary


     1802  Alexander Dumas Pere was born in Villers-Cotterêts 40 km NE of Paris, France. A French writer, he wrote a revised vision of ETA Hoffman's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King titled "L'Histoire d'un Casse Noisette (The Story of a Hazelnut-cracker). It was from these reviesed versions of the story that Marius Petipa (choreographer of the Nutcracker) got his ideas for the story of the Nutcracker Ballet.

     1816  E. T. A. Hoffman published his book "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". This work was a morbid story never intended for children which intended to show the depraved and desperate side of mankind.

     1818  Marius Petipa, choreographer of the Nutcracker, is born in Marseilles, France. He was first ballet master to the Tzar of Russia and is credited with ushering in the golden age of Classical Ballet with Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Don Quoxite and the Nutcracker.

     1834  Lev Ivanov is born in Russia.  A Russian dancer, chodreogrpher, teacher, and ballet-maste, Ivanov was assistant to chief ballet-master Marius Petipa at the Imperial St. Petersburg Theatres, St Petersburg, Russia. He was instrumental in the development of the classic romantic ballet in Russia. When Petipa fell ill, Ivanov created the choreography for The Nutcracker.

     1840  Peter I Tchaikovsky, composer of the Nutcracker, is born in Russia.

     1890  A. Vsevolozsky, director of Imperial Theaters in Russia, planned to produce a new ballet, "The Nutcracker". This came about because of the success which the ballet "Sleeping Beauty" recieved. He also planned to use the same choreographer (Marius Petipa) and composer (Peter Tchaikovsky) which collaborated to produce "Sleeping Beauty":


     1891  Choreographer Marius Petipa commissioned composer Peter I. Tchaikovsky to compose the musis for the Nutcracker.

    Early 1892:     Tchaikovsky begins work on the music for the Nutcracker. Upon completion of the score in the summer of 1892 Tchaikovsky wrote that the music he composed was "infinitely poorer than The Sleeping Beauty" (which he had composed and premiered in 1890.

          Footnote: An interesting footnote to the score of The Nutcracker is the famous use of the celesta in the Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy. The celesta was a new musical instrument which had just been created by Auguste Mustel. Tchaikovsky had discovered the newly-invented instrument just before departing for the U.S., and was immediately captivated by its ``divinely beautiful tone.'' He arranged to have one sent to Russia secretly, because he was ``afraid Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov may get hold of it and use the unusual effect before me.''

    March 1892:  Tchaikovsky premiered the music for The Nutcracker Ballet Suite before was ballet was even produced. This eight-part concert version of the ballet music was a success. At least six times, the audience demanded immediate encores of specific music selections. Because of the Suite's instant success, the score was published even before the ballet premiered. (reference: The History of the Nutcracker

          Footnote:  The Nutcracker, Op. 71a  was scored for 3 flutes (3rd doubling piccolo, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, glockenspiel, tympani, harp, celesta, and strings. (reference: Tchaikovsky: "Nutcracker" Suite

A C T   1   . . . . . .   M I C E

A C T   1   . . . . . .   W A R


    September, 1892:  Rehearsals begin for the Nutcracker. Choreographer Marius Petipa is taken ill and replaced by Lev Ivanov. Although Petipa worked with Tchaikovsky to create the story, the story, Ivanov is also generally credited with choreographing the Nutcracker. (reference:The History of the Nutcracker

     December 18, 1892:
  Nutcracker World Premiere was at the Maryinsky Theater in St Petersbury, Russia with choreography by Petipa/Ivanov, music by Tchaikovsky and decor by Botcharov.. Sugar Plum Fairy: Antoinette dell'era, Prince: Paul Gerdt

The Bolshoi Ballet performed the first Nutcracker in Moscow. The little girl, Masha, was played by an adult ballerina who performed the Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux with the Nutcracker. The Nutcracker was then transformed into a prince who danced the dances originally given to the Cavalier.

The first production of the Nutcracker presented outside of Russia was restaged by Nicholas Sergeyev for the Vic-Wells Ballet, and performed at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, England. The title of the ballet was changed to "Casse-Noisette".            Sugar Plum Fairy: Alicia Markova, Prince: Harold Turner

Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo was the first to present a shortened version of the Nutcracker in the United States. The choreography was by Alexandra Fedorova (a former Maryinsky dancer, who restaged the Nutcracker after Petipa) with sets by Alexander Benois.

February 1954:
George Balanchine choreographs a full length version of the Nutcracker. Perfromed by New York City Ballet and presented at the New York City Center, the Balanchine production inspired many other productions throughout the world. decor: Horace Armistead; costumes: Barbara Karinska.              Sugar Plum Fairy: Maria Tallchief, Prince: Nicholas Magallanes

A C T   1   . . . . . .   A N G E L S

A C T   1   . . . . . .  W a l t z   O f   T h e   S n o w f l a k e s
Erin Warn   Snowflakes  2013
Harper Skulley     Nut Snow
Maggie Selner   Nut13  Snow

Sample Selection of Other Ballets in Ballet Minnesota Repertoire
Swan Lake Repertoire

1996    2007    2008

Peter I Tchaikovsky

O'Shaughnessy     Fitzgerald Theater
Beethoven's 9th

Premiere - 2008

Ludiwig Van Beethoven

Fitzgerald Theater
2013   Morning In Beijing

Premiere - 2013

Ying Zhang

Rhapsody in Blue

Premiere - 2009

George Gershiwn

Fitzgerald Theater