Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite things to read, watch, and listen to over the holidays in a series I’m calling Make The Season Bright.
I recently sat down to watch the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s 1986 film version of the Nutcracker and really enjoyed it. Maurice Sendak’s set design and costumes were just as impressive as I expected they would be and the many film-version-only transitions are stunning! PNB’s Nutcracker is available in its entirety on Netflix and YouTube.
“Maurice and I went back to the original Nutcracker story by E.T.A. Hoffman and incorporated much more of the story into the production. Clara and Herr Drosselmeier will be the central figures though the story essentially remains the same. The essence of the Nutcracker story is really a fantasy dreamed by Clara, a young girl on the verge of growing up. The ballet is seen unfolding through her eyes, in an atmosphere tinged with mystery, where there are no boundaries between dream and reality. We have worked on the concept of this new production for two years. Seeing our plans become a reality for our company is an incredible accomplishment—one we feel will be well worth it for all our Nutcracker fans.” — Choreographer Kent Stowell, November 1983
A good glimpse of the set design from the more recent stage production(s):