"The Nutcracker" is now an American Christmas tradition, but when Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky debuted the work in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892, it wasn't a success. San Antonio Symphony’s Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto explains.
"You have to understand, until Tchaikovsky came along, ballet music was just ballet music," Fujimoto said. "It wasn’t appreciated for its own good, and Tchaikovsky single-handedly did that."
Ballet San Antonio is gearing up for their move into the Tobin next year, but first, there's this season.
"We start with Ben Stevenson’s 'Cinderella' and from there we go into 'The Nutcracker' with the San Antonio Symphony," says Ballet San Antonio’s Executive Director Courtney Barker. "We’re going to be having 'Firebird,' which is an exciting ballet with some mixed repertoire of contemporary works. And then finally we’re going to be doing a free community performance at La Villita."
“’The Rite of Spring’ is not about flowers and birds singing. It’s about the power of nature,” says John Toohey, Executive Director of Arts San Antonio. ArtsSA is bringing “Rite” to San Antonio on Friday, March 8 at Lila Cockrell Theatre for the centennial of its notorious debut. The performance also marks the Joffrey Ballet's first performance in San Antonio in more than 20 years.
The Mexican revolution drove people into the United States and those that settled in South Texas helped shape the cultural and economic landscape of the area. This is especially notable as the Hispanic population continues to increase in the United States, and the country -- as Mayor Julián Castro put it -- begins to look like San Antonio. The last part of the show highlights a performance of Tchaikovsky’s "The Nutcracker," a production that is a holiday tradition in San Antonio and the U.S.
"The Red Shoes," the rapturous 1948 British film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is not just a great backstage film, it’s about the burning hunger that great artists have within them to create. In fact, "The Red Shoes" even goes as far as to suggest that art is something worth dying for. In the freshly post-war England, this must have been a daring thematic choice. After all, citizens for years had been dying for crown and country, and now, for dance? But for the artists of "The Red Shoes," dance they must.