The Nutcracker Ballet
Listen Nutcracker Suite
Clara and her Prince from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker at the Minnesota Ballet. (Minnesota Ballet)
If you go to one ballet in your life, it's likely The Nutcracker.
It is the most popular show in the country, but it took a number of years to become that. In fact, even Tchaikovsky considered it one of his least successful efforts.
It was premiered to little notice at St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre in 1892 and didn't make it to the US until the 1940's.
That's when George Balanchine and the New York City Ballet presented it and started the phenomenon we now know as the 'Nutcracker Season' a phenom so big it often funds the rest of many ballet company's entire seasons!