The critics were not kind after the first performance of “The Nutcracker” ballet in 1892 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The battle scene was called clumsy, the costumes were described as dull, and the Sugar Plum Fairy was dissed as chubby.
But the music — oh, that wonderful music by Tchaikovsky — got rave reviews. And it still does.
Somewhere along the way, seeing “The Nutcracker” became a holiday tradition. For some children, it’s their introduction to classical music. For others, the story of the little nutcracker that comes to life on Christmas Eve and fights the evil Mouse King, is their first ballet.
Tchaikovsky probably would be surprised at how “The Nutcracker” has overcome its shaky start.
In Snohomish County, you can watch the ballet adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” three ways.
Alderwood Dance Spectrum puts on its 24th annual “A Storybook Nutcracker,” which is a briefly narrated “Nutcracker” ballet meant for children, Dec. 13-14 at the Snohomish County PUD Auditorium, 2320 California St., Everett. More at www.alderwooddancespectrum.com.
Olympic Ballet Theatre will perform “The Nutcracker” Dec. 13-15 at the Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett, and Dec. 20-23 at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N., Edmonds. Go to www.olympicballet.com for more information.
Emerald Ballet Theatre stages “The Nutcracker” Dec. 14 and 15 at the Northshore Performing Arts Center, 18125 92nd Ave. NE, Bothell. Call 425-298-3449 or go to www.npacf.org/the-nutcracker.