The nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood stories. Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale…
In the Christmas season of merry making, the ways of celebrating are as many and as varied as possible, but familiar traditions and stories connect all of us during this time, influencing our celebrations and holding a special place in our hearts. One such story and tradition is The Nutcracker.
Whether it’s a tradition to see the ballet or if you only know the songs from hearing them played on Christmas playlists, we are all familiar with the story of The Nutcracker. Or are we truly?
The Upcountry History Museum in partnership with Walt Disney Archives, The Walt Disney Family Museum, Charles M. Schulz Museum, artists James Ransome and Jan Brett, R. Michelson Galleries, and the Carolina Ballet Theatre will invite visitors to explore the history of the surprisingly dark story behind the ballet and its evolution into a holiday classic.
From its origins as a short story written by Prussian author, E.T.A. Hoffman in 1816, to its premiere as a fairy tale ballet in two acts that opened a week before Christmas in 1892, The Nutcracker has become the most popular ballet to be performed around the world at Christmas time.
Nutcracker: The Exhibition, a 1,200 square foot exhibition, organized by the Upcountry History Museum, will explore the kaleidoscope of artistic re-imaginings of The Nutcracker, from the 1820’s to the present. The immersive experience will take visitors on a journey from The Nutcracker’s beginnings as a short story, to its artistic interpretations in literature, ballet, theater, and film. Original illustrations, drawings, film and ballet costumes, props, and ephemera will examine multiple perspectives of one of literature’s greatest paradoxes that continues to inspire imagination, creativity, and discussion.
Rich with visual interpretation, the exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the cultural, technological, and societal shifts that have compelled artists, filmmakers, and fans to return to tale of The Nutcracker time and time again.