WALLA WALLA - A holiday classic will take the stage Saturday at Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College campus.
"The Nutcracker" will be performed by the Walla Walla Symphony orchestra accompanied by the Mid-Columbia Ballet. In addition, 40 students from The Dance Center in Walla Walla will participate.
The 2 p.m. matinee and 7:30 p.m. evening performances will be the symphony's 425th and 426th concerts. Yaacov Bergman will conduct.
Featuring what may be some of the most recognized Christmas music in the world, "The Nutcracker" was first performed at the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Dec. 17, 1892, under the direction of Ricardo Drigo.
The two-act ballet was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Originally on a double-bill with Tchaikovsky's opera, "Yolanta," the debut met with mixed reviews although the 20-minute suite that Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet gained worldwide popularity.
The complete "Nutcracker," however, has enjoyed enormous popularity since the mid-20th century and is now performed by countless ballet companies, primarily during the Christmas season and especially in the United States. Tchaikovsky's score has become one of his most famous compositions, in particular the pieces featured in the suite.
The ballet and music have found their way into numerous pop culture productions, including film, television and even video games.
Andy Porter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8318.