REVIEW: “Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker”—Christmas Stream

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

Want To Make This Christmas Special? Don’t Miss This Celebration!


Only three more nights ‘til New Year’s Eve! Then you can finally leave this dysphoric year behind and hope 2021 will not be as frustrating. But what will you do until then? After all, we are still in the Christmas season.

Why not go back to a simpler time and celebrate Christmas tradition with the whole family like it’s supposed to be! Even if you’re in a Covid bubble, why not see "Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker" from the best seat in the house—your living room! Get to know your quarantined in-laws on facetime; have some social interaction with your spouse. And experience the smash-hit ground-breaking Video on Demand debut of one of the world’s most magical adaptations of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic, the “Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker,” as it pirouettes its way on your television or mobile device. But you only have until January 1st to view it!


Over 40 renowned ballet dancers bring to life the timeless story of a young girl who receives the gift of a nutcracker one Christmas Eve and dreams that night of a grand adventure with her Nutcracker Prince. Filled with larger-than-life puppets and nesting dolls, handmade Victorian-style costumes, gasp-inducing special effects and sets, this perennial favorite is a magical production with gorgeous sets, fabulous costumes, and exquisite dancing—truly a fairy tale. The Moscow Ballet has even included special touches of Russian ballet reminiscent of the Moiseyev Ballet, resulting in a most extraordinary performance.


The principal artists are: ALEXANDRA ELAGINA, SHOTA ONODERA, KOSTYANTYN VINOVOY, KARYNA SHATKOVSKAYA, RUSTEM IMANGALIYEV, TATIANA NAZARCHEVICI, NICOLAI NAZARCHEVICI, OLENA PECHENIUK, OLEKSANDR SKULKIN, ALISA ALEEKSEVA, VLADYSLAV BOSENKO, NATALIA GUBANOVA, ALEXEY GERASIMOV, and OLGA SHARIKOVA. Featured artists include SERGEY CHUMAKOV AND ELENA PETRICHENKO, AIDANA AMIRKHANOVNA, RAFAEL URAZOV, VIKTORIYA DYMOVSKAYA, and ADEL KINZIKEEV.


There’s probably no one reading this that hasn’t seen "The Nutcracker" performed at least once during a Christmas holiday season. It all began when French author Alexandre Dumas adapted E. T. A. Hoffmann’s novella in 1844, about a young girl named Clara who was awakened one Christmas Eve to the wider world and romantic love. Dumas renamed his adaptation "The Nutcracker" and made it more optimistic and suitable for children, removing much of the violence from the original book but keeping the basic themes of good vs. evil and the power of a child’s imagination.


Marius Petipa, chief ballet master of the Russian Imperial Ballet, liked this new story and in 1891 decided to make it into a ballet. He commissioned Peter Tchaikovsky to compose the music while having Lev Ivanov, Petipa’s assistant, to create the choreography. The following year, this version of "The Nutcracker" made its debut in Russia, eventually becoming Tchaikovsky’s most popular composition.

In the modern era, many newer variations were produced. But the "Great Russian Nutcracker," as you might have guessed, is different than other Nutcracker productions in that the Clara-like character is named Masha (Iryna Borisova) and she is guided by the Dove of Peace to the Land of Peace and Harmony. All the other interpretations of "The Nutcracker," if you remember, feature Clara traveling to the Land of Sweets.