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We all know and love the classic E.T.A. Hoffmann story, The Nutcracker, which was brought to the stage in 1892 in St. Petersburg (Russia) by Marius Petipa, known as “The Father of Russian Ballet.”

Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia

Moscow Ballet’s designers, ballet masters, and artists continue to present Petipa’s vision of enchantment and wonder to audiences across North America. The Great Russian Nutcracker is an amazing performance that brings holiday traditions and the grandeur of Russian culture to the stage.

Moscow Ballet’s performance features stunning backdrops—nine in all—larger-than-life puppets and exquisite dancers. It features beautifully crafted props, including, new in 2010, flower-shooting cannons used in Act II in the “Land of Peace and Harmony.”

Samson and the Lion, by Mikhail Kozlovsky

The cannons are currently being artfully crafted to resemble lions, with the animal’s mouth serving as the mouth of the cannon—they are inspired by the beautiful fountains and gardens that sit on the grounds of Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The fascinating history surrounding the classic tale further enhances Moscow Ballet’s artistic goals, as does the rich Russian culture that saturates every aspect of the performance, making quite captivating performances.

The scenes are brought to life by Scenic Designer Valentin Fedorov, who formerly studied under legendary Valery Leventhal of the Bolshoi Ballet. He has designed more than 40 productions for ballet and opera, to critical acclaim. In addition to a “Best Performance of Russia Festival” honor, Federov was named an Honored Artist of Chuvashia, a Russian province where he is art director for the Chuvashia State Theatre of Opera and Ballet.

The costumes are the creation of award-winning, international Costume Designer, Olga Dumova, acclaimed for her distinctive technique of combining theatrical design with Russian history. Among her creations are costumes for fairy tale characters, Father Christmas, a Russian version of the American Santa Claus, and his daughter the Snow Maiden, which are exclusive to Moscow Ballet’s Nutcracker.

Father Christmas and Snow Maiden, from the Great Russian Nutcracker

The costumes all display opulence and magnificence, a costuming tradition that dates back hundreds of years in Russia.

The visually stunning scenery and costumes, in addition to the spectacular ballet talent, is brought together by Ballet Masters Vladimir Troschenko and Andrei Litvinov to create a performance that is a delight to audiences, young and old. Make Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker a part of your holiday traditions.