Going Nuts This Holiday Season? Nutcracker Fever Is On Its Way

Ballet San Jose THE NUTCRACKER shown in photo requires four fog machines and a total of 400 pounds of dry ice per performance for the Wondrous Snowstorm at the end of Act I. Sixty pounds of flameproof, punched white confetti is dropped during the scene.

The California Nutcracker Ballet is a holiday tradition unto itself. Ranging from cute little kids on a small school stage to a 100% unionized production requiring 74 fly moves (movements of scenery in and out) that create 14 different scene changes in Ballet San Jose's THE NUTCRACKER, the experiences are as unique as the ballet companies. In San Jose, Apple Computer founder Steve Wozniak (known as 'The Woz') performed as the Chestnut Vendor in Act I, scene 1, a role he continued to play for many years. With his own fan base, he is among the many unique characters who have helped put on a memorable show with meaning.

The basic story is about a young girl, Clara, who receives a nutcracker doll at Christmas from Uncle Drossmeyer. Interpretations of Clara, her uncle, and even the story line vary, and each unique presentation is part of the passion that goes into making this ballet a beloved production year after year-both for the ballet companies and the public.

There are many world class Nutcracker ballets in California. Among the most famous is the Great Russian Nutcracker performed by the traveling Moscow Ballet. In 2010 Moscow Ballet announced Principal Dancers, Gold Medalists Cristina and Alexei Terentiev (2008 Varna International Ballet Competition) are taking the stage. The Terentievs are recognized as a premiere ballet couple, and will perform the leading roles in the Great Russian Nutcracker in cities across Canada and western US this November and December. Moscow Ballet appearances in California include Bakersfield, Cupertino, La Mirada, San Diego and Santa Rosa.

Several of our favorite Nutcrackers include Ballet San Jose with the ballet force, Dennis Nahat, and Westside Ballet of Santa Monica with Artistic Director is Yvonne Mounsey. You can't ignore the famed ballet companies in Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, either.

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