top of page
Immortal Icons of Dance Logo Final-06_edited.png
Immortal Icons of Dance Logo.png

NYCB Vol. 5 No. 18 - Nutcracker

[18/50] Maria Tallchief recalls watching Act 1 from the wings as she prepared to dance the Sugar Plum Fairy in Act 2:

"Even from that cramped vantage point, George’s Nutcracker carried me away. What a magnificent spectacle! Midway through the first act, the antiquated City Center stage machinery started to crank and the great old Christmas tree began bouncing around and growing through the floor, hitting its full height precisely on the swelling chord of the music. Emotions welled up inside of me that threatened to burst.

The choreography for the Snowflakes resembled the swirling snow storm inside the snow paperweights that decorated our home in Fairfax at Christmas time, reminding me of my childhood. When the chorus started to sing, tears came to my eyes and I had to be sure my makeup didn’t run."

—Maria Tallchief in Maria Tallchief: America's Prima Ballerina (affiliate link)

Snow Scene from the 1954 production.

Photos by Alfred Eisenstaedt. Life Archives.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page