Music: Christmas Dream

The orchestra launched into the tuneful old Tchaikovsky score, the curtain rose on a well-stuffed parlor, and for the next two hours Manhattan ballet fans lost themselves in George Balanchine's newest ballet, a full-length re-creation of The Nutcracker. It was one of the most cheerful evenings of make-believe the ballet had seen in years.

The scene was an old-fashioned Christmas party, decked out with a tall tree, stacks of packages wrapped in red ribbon—and twelve children (from Balanchine's School of American Ballet) tumbling about the stage in colorfully costumed tumult. Then, when the last...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!