George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Blu-ray (2016)

by | Dec 29, 2016 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews

A classic that has been seen by millions—now in your living room.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, Blu-ray (2016)

TCHAIKOVSKY: The Nutcracker (Live from Lincoln Center)
Performers: The New York City Ballet
Director: Katherine E. Brown
Producer: John Goberman
Studio: C Major 738704 2016 [Distr. by Naxos]
Video: 16:9 HD Blu-ray
Audio: PCM Stereo 2.0, DTS-HD MA 5.0
Subtitles: Italian, German, English, French
No region code
Length: 100 min.
Extras: Behind the Stage (10 min.)
Rating: *****

Balanchine’s Nutcracker has been a staple for 64 years at the New York City Ballet. It’s seen by over 100,000 people annually, and countless versions of it have been given throughout the United States, popularizing the work in a way that Tchaikovsky could never imagine. It’s no secret as to why this particular vision of the piece has proved so enormously widespread—the fanciful delights of this rabidly gorgeous production, the inevitable deliberateness of the dance numbers that are perfectly executable yet still breathlessly entertaining, and the magical atmospherics add up to a production that is fully worthy of the accolades received over the years.

It’s about time we had this on Blu-ray, in stunning sound and superb color, with a bonus segment that takes us backstage into some of the intricacies of the production. This is from a December, 2011 performance that will warm your heart all through the year whenever you view it. This is about as good a Nutcracker you will find, and makes for an easy recommendation!

—Steven Ritter

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