Some Background Facts About The Nutcracker

Even if you've never seen the holiday staple The Nutcracker, you recognize the music by Tchaikovsky. Every community that stages the ballet gives an opportunity to dozens of young dancers to perform on stage with real ballet dancers. But the production went through some hard times when it was new. The story is based on a rather dark tale written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816. Some of the more tragic and thought-provoking details were dropped before the story became a ballet. Tchaikovsky hated composing the music. He was constrained by the choreographer's demands and considered the work dull. When the ballet debuted in 1892, it got mixed reviews from critics and audience members. The story was nonsensical, and there were too many children in it! But over the years, people came around, and those things became a big part of its charm. Read some facts about the history of The Nutcracker at Mental Floss.

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