The Nutcracker –world premiere performances of Sarasota’s own Nutcracker
Choreographer Matthew Hart and Set Designer Peter Docherty Research Sarasota Circus History to Develop a new Circus Themed Production of The Nutcracker.
At its Gala on February 27, The Sarasota Ballet announced that it would be presenting an entirely new production of The Nutcracker in December 2012. Both choreographer Matthew Hart and designer Peter Docherty had flown in from London for a week of intensive research and conceptual development working closely with Iain Webb and Margaret Barbieri and utilizing the resources available at the Ringling Circus Museum and the archives of Feld Entertainment.
In December 2012, The Sarasota Ballet will premiere Sarasota’s own Nutcracker, a telling of the traditional story interwoven with the golden era of the circus and the Ringling Bros winter quarters in Sarasota.
Imagine Christmas Eve in New York during the 1930’s. The snow is falling over Grand Central Station as Clara and her family arrive to spend the holidays at a ritzy hotel. As the family steps onto the platform they notice the circus loading up their train to travel back south to their winter quarters in Sarasota.
Clara is disappointed to have missed their show and wishes she could run away with the circus. But all her worries disappear when later that evening the circus owner and his entourage make a surprise entrance at the hotel party bearing magical gifts and the things dreams are made of that lead Clara on a wondrous journey.
The Nutcracker originally choreographed by Mauris Petipa to the sumptuous score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky has been an enduring audience favorite for the holiday season since the San Francisco Ballet staged its own production in 1944. George Balanchine's staging of The Nutcracker in 1954 is still beloved today. Many others have followed, some using the original libretto, like Balanchine, and other adapting aspects of the story from their own perspective.
Some notable productions include those by Rudolf Nureyev for the Royal Ballet, Yuri Grigorovich for the Bolshoi Ballet, Mikhail Baryshnikov for the American Ballet Theatre, and Sir Peter Wright for the Royal Ballet and the Birmingham Royal Ballet. In recent years, revisionist productions, including those by Mark Morris, Matthew Bourne, and Mikhail Chemiakin have appeared, which depart radically from both the original 1892 libretto.