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NYCB Vol. 5 No. 3 - Nutcracker

Updated: Apr 3

[3/50] Marian Horosko on being Frau Stahlbaum in the early years of the Nutcracker:


“In the first or second Nutcracker season at City Center, during the change from the tiny Christmas tree to the big tree, the big tree always seemed to get caught in its own branches and struggled to disentangle itself and grow. It always seemed to need a little more music to move up grandly. Balanchine said to me, 'Dear, we need more time for the tree. So we will have more music before the tree grows so the stagehands can disentangle the tree before it starts to rise. So you will hear the music and do something.' Do something! Sure, I’d do anything for him. So, to my surprise, I heard the insert of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto cadenza in the place just before my exit. I added some stage business, and slid softly offstage at the last note. In that company almost all the dancers would have known that violin work and would have done the same thing. I moved a chair, shook the draperies, looked out the window, checked the nutcracker in his bed under the tree, felt a chill, and wrapped my shawl tighter around me to fill in the time. I just did the things you’d normally do when you left a room for the night—a Christmas night. Balanchine just nodded when I reached the wings. It was all right.“

—Marian Horosko in I Remember Balanchine (affiliate link)



Roy Tobias as the Toy Soldier. Back L-R: Marian Horosko, Roland Vazquez and David Richardson. Photo by Martha Swope, 1957.

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