Winter Wonderland

November 23, 2009

The snow scene is one of the simplest sections of
The Nutcracker: There are no oversized mice or waltzing flowers, just a corps of women in white tutus and a principal couple—usually. And yet those 11 minutes of the ballet are often the most magical. Tchaikovsky’s dreamy music transports us into the chilly midnight December air. Dancers flit, flutter, and swirl as if blown by the wind. A blanket of white floats—and sometimes pours—down from above as Clara travels from the real world to a fantastical one. Every company does the scene in its own unique way—some even dispensing with the tutus altogether. Here’s a peek inside some of our favorite snow scenes from around the world.





Finnish National Ballet, with choreography by Wayne Eagling

Photo by Sakari Vilka, courtesy Finnish National Ballet







New York City Ballet, choreography © The Balanchine Trust

Photo by Paul Kolnik, courtesy NYCB







Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, choreography by Terrence Orr

Photo by Rich Sofranko, courtesy PBT







Ballet San Jose, choreography by Dennis Nahat

Photo by John Gerbetz, courtesy BSJ







Cincinnati Ballet, choreography by Val Caniparoli

Photo by Peter Mueller, courtesy CB







Festival Ballet Providence

Photo by Thomas Nola-Rion, courtesy FBP








Ballet Arizona, choreography by Ib Andersen

Photo by Rosalie O’Connor, courtesy BA







Luciana Voltolini of Boston Ballet

Photo by Gene Schiavone, courtesy BB








Washington Ballet, choreography by Septime Webre

Photo by Carol Pratt, courtesy TWB








Paris Oper Ballet in Rudolf Nureyev’s Casse-Noisette

Photo by Sebastien Mathe, courtesy POB








Megan Quiroz and Thomas Nicholas of the Joffrey Ballet

Photo by Herbert Migdoll, courtesy Joffrey








Mark Morris Dance Group in The Hard Nut

Photo by Peter Da Silva, courtesy MMDG








Urban Ballet Theater’s Nutcracker in the Lower, by Daniel Catanach

Photo by Geoffrey Tischman, courtesy UBT