The Nutcracker, Annual Performance -- The Nutcracker is a two-act ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a
score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann's story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. It was given its première at the Mariinsky Theatre in St.
Petersburg on Sunday, 18 December 1892, on a double-bill with Tchaikovsky's opera, Iolanta. Although the original production was not a success, the twenty-minute suite that
Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet was. However, the complete Nutcracker has enjoyed enormous popularity since the late 1960s and is now performed by countless ballet companies,
primarily during the Christmas season, especially in the U.S. Tchaikovsky's score has become one of his most famous compositions, in particular the pieces featured in the suite.