nutcrackerEvery December, when the holiday music begins, I look forward to hearing the strains of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” My grandmother took me to the ballet when I was seven and I fell in love immediately. The lively music, the fabulous costumes and the magic of the growing Christmas tree never lose their enchantment.

I was curious about who wrote “The Nutcracker” and learned that the original was written in 1816 as a scary story for adults. It was re-written into a children’s story by French author, Alexander Dumas and  subsequently commissioned for a ballet by the Russian Imperial Ballet. At this time Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky was asked to compose the music and Lev Ivanov designed the choreography. The first “Nutcracker” was performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in December 1892, more than 120 years ago!

I now enjoy this holiday tradition with my children – and so can you! This Saturday, December 12 the Perryville and Elkton Central Libraries are hosting a free program called “Discover Dance: The Nutcracker.”  Get an up close view of The Nutcracker when dancers from Cecil Dancenter perform excerpts. Learn the story behind the ballet, how dancers prepare, and even learn some dance steps!

We hope you’ll join us. What’s your favorite part of the Nutcracker?


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