Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Wonder: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ again surprised and delighted me this weekend at the Academy of Music. The Pennsylvania Ballet has outdone themselves. This year I took a friend who has never been to the ballet and he quite enjoyed it. The setting, the music, the costumes, all melded perfectly to create a gorgeous night of music and art in motion.
Now in its 25th year, the Pennsylvania Ballet’s performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ is running until December 30, 2012 at the Academy of Music and  is presented by First Niagara.

“Pennsylvania Ballet first performed George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ back in 1987, and 25 years later it remains our most beloved production,” says Artistic Director Roy Kaiser. “The brilliance of Mr. B’s choreography, the timeless story and score, and spectacular sets and costumes make this ballet a must-see every year.”

I always love both acts, for different reasons. The first act always excites me because I love the feeling of family and friends at Christmas Eve, with a large house and the grand hall and beautiful costumes, and the children playing. You really feel the excitement of awaiting the gifts and the camaraderie of good friends around you. It reminds me of my Christmas Eve, and how lucky I am to have a good life with family and friends.

The second act is exciting because of the treats and the grandeur of the set that the artists perform on, and you really get to set the ballerinas dance their strong and graceful hearts out. This is a wonderful event for the family and friends, and really gets you into the Christmas spirit. It is a tradition, and I never miss it!

Plus, during intermission: two couples got engaged! Those ladies said YES!
Pennsylvania Ballet is proud to partner with The Salvation Army. At performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, audience members are invited to bring a new, unwrapped toy for a child in need. Once collected at the theater, these toys will be distributed to families across the Delaware Valley throughout the holiday season and beyond.

Starting at just $20, tickets to all 23 performances of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ at the Academy of Music are on sale now. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 215.893.1999, and in person at the Kimmel Center Box Office.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ performances at the Academy of Music:
Thursday, December 20 at 7 p.m.
Friday, December 21 at 7 p.m.
Saturday, December 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, December 23 at noon and 5 p.m.
Monday, December 24 at noon
Wednesday, December 26 at noon and 5 p.m.
Thursday, December 27 at 2 p.m.
Friday, December 28 at 2 p.m.
Saturday, December 29 at 2 p.m.
Sunday, December 30 at noon and 5 p.m.

Groups of 10 or more get discounts and great seats!
Ask about backstage tours, special talks with staff and dancers, and dining options near the theater for your group. For tickets and more information, contact Group Sales Manager Arajua Backman at 215.587.6921 or

Artists of Pennsylvania Ballet in George Balanchine's The Nutcracker™, choreography by George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust.
All photos by Alexander Iziliaev.

Special Thanks to Marissa Montenegro, Public Relations Manager, Pennsylvania Ballet.




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