Story of the Nutcracker Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Top photo: Sabina Alvarez, Gelsey Kirkland Ballet Nutcracker, December 2015. One of my favorite YouTube channels is Polyphonic, which explores popular music. The videos by a Canadian music journalist are sometimes technical and always interesting. Examples include discussions of Freddie Mercury’s great vocal range, John Bonham’s foundational Led Zeppelin drumming, the meaning of Bob Dylan’s Tangled Up in Blue, and history of Steely Dan. Given the modern-day music focus, I was surprised to see Polyphonic’s take on an iconic classic: Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. An interesting video that provides history of the production, detail on the main instrument in the score, the celesta, and how Disney’s inclusion of the song in the 1940 classic Fantasia led to the current popularity of the Nutcracker. The video has footage from New York City Ballet’s production, particularly a solo from Ashley Bouder. Enjoy