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The Nutcracker 120 years – The Images Then And Now

Dancers (left to right) Stanislava Belinskaya as Clara, Lydia Rubtsova as Marianna and Vassily Stukolkin as Fritz in the first production of the The Nutcracker, the Mariinsky Theatre, 1892
Credit: RIA Novosti / ArenaPAL

Performing arts photo library ArenaPAL are celebrating the 120th anniversary of the first performance of The Nutcracker, the world’s most popular Christmas ballet, with a selection of images from their archives. Premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia on 18 December 1892, with music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, the ballet was not initially a success. It wasn’t until choreographer George Balanchine revived the piece with the New York City Ballet in 1954 that we fell in love with the magic of the Nutcracker – with it becoming a staple Christmas-time production ever since.
View and license images from The Nutcracker 1892 premier
View and license images from The Nutcracker modern productions