Help me crack this nut!
November 14, 2016 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a perfect version of the Nutcracker ballet to share with my two-and-a-half-year old daughter. Dance of the snowflakes inside.

When I was nine, I performed in the local professional ballet company's production of The Nutcracker. It was a formative experience for me, and I've dreamed for years of being able to share my love for the ballet with a child of my own.

Toddler Timestep isn't quite old enough to sit through a full-length production yet, so I'm looking for a version to show her at home. But I am pretty picky when it comes to my performances, so I'm wondering if anyone knows whether there's a version that meets the following criteria:

*Must be traditional ballet, not hip hop/tap/modern dance
*Must contain the full score, esp. Polichinelles/Mother Ginger! This is the role that I danced, and sadly, some productions cut this piece for time.
*Prefer a child/young teen as Clara; bonus points if she actually dances instead of just acts.
*Prefer a traditional setting (Victorian England or France) as opposed to a new interpretation (World's Fair, insane asylum*).
*Would prefer no narration, just a straight performance—but I'm willing to bend on this one if the other criteria are met.

Does my fantasy production exist on film? We'll have access to Amazon Prime and Netflix, and I'd also be willing to purchase a DVD if this price is under $30.

*Yes, this exists. It's actually quite good, but not for a little one's first exposure to the ballet!
posted by timestep to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You may want George Balanchine's Nutcracker--which, conveniently, is being released in a few days (sans Macaulay Culkin, unlike the previous Balanchine recording...). This is the version that really popularized the ballet in the USA, with lots of dancing children.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:48 PM on November 14, 2016 [2 favorites]

San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker is nearly there - I believe it's set in Edwardian San Francisco, however.

NYCB's Nutcracker (with Macaulay Culkin) is also on youtube currently.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:41 PM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love the Baryshnikov/Kirklandversion. I haven't watched it all the way through, (I've danced Nutcracker too many time to willingly watch another one) but the pas de deux between the two of them are wonderful.
I just checked, and it does have a section set to the Mother Ginger music, but no Mother Ginger.
posted by Karmeliet at 6:09 AM on November 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm sorry, I'm not familiar enough with it to know if it meets all your criteria (I've only seen it once, live, I haven't seen the video), but I just thought The Hard Nut was delightful. At the very least, you might want to watch the Waltz of the Snowflakes with her.
posted by kristi at 10:17 AM on November 17, 2016

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