Nutcracker Nation

Jennifer Fisher’s new history of the Nutcracker demonstrates that the piece is no “monolithic artifact. Since its first production, which was choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov in 1892 for the Mariinsky Theater (now home to the Kirov Ballet and Opera), it has become a theme to be riffed upon as much as a masterpiece to be preserved. Fisher believes that when it ” immigrated ” to this side of the Atlantic in the 20th century, it began a versatile career as a conduit for psychological, artistic, ethnic, and community aspirations as diverse as North America itself.”