The Korea Herald


In a year of uncertainties, ‘The Nutcracker’ may leave you nostalgic

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Oct. 28, 2020 - 16:58

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“The Nutcracker” (Universal Ballet) “The Nutcracker” (Universal Ballet)
Though 2020 has brought unprecedented changes to the performing arts scene, including the world of ballet, “The Nutcracker” will wrap up the year as it does every year.

The holiday tradition of enjoying Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece “The Nutcracker” in the Christmas season will continue despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Universal Ballet will go onstage with “The Nutcracker” Dec. 18-30 at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in central Seoul. According to the ballet troupe, it is returning to the Sejong Center with the work for the first time in 15 years.

The Universal Ballet first performed “The Nutcracker” in 1986. It works from a version choreographed by Vasili Vainonen in 1934.

Though a year-end performance, “The Nutcracker” is only the ballet troupe’s second show this year, the first being “Onegin” in July. All its other performances were canceled due to the virus crisis.

The Korean National Ballet, another major ballet company here, will end the year with “The Nutcracker” too. It will perform the piece in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, Nov. 20-21; Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province, Nov. 26-27; and Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, Dec. 3-5. Details of the Seoul performance have not yet been decided.

The KNB has been on a roller-coaster ride this year, too. “Le Corsaire” at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul in November will mark the state ballet company’s first full-length ballet performance this year.

“The Nutcracker,” a legendary ballet created by Tchaikovsky, Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, is based on the children’s story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” It had its premiere in 1892 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

By Im Eun-byel (