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60 min | 2019 | USA | Not Rated
Ballet West founder Willam Christensen (“Mr. C”) staged the very first full-length production of the now-beloved The Nutcracker on Christmas Eve in 1944, at the San Francisco Ballet. Ballet West now carries on Mr. C’s legacy with its annual presentation of his Nutcracker, now the longest-running production of the ballet in the United States.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Mr. C’s The Nutcracker, Ballet West, in collaboration with BYUtv, produced this documentary program chronicling the history of the first Nutcracker in America. The program features excerpts of the award-winning ballet performance and highlights the role of Mr. C in this incredible story, rooted in Utah.
Fondly remembered as the “grandfather of American ballet,” Mr. C (1902-2001) was born and raised in Brigham City, Utah. A true pioneer in dance, he established the San Francisco Ballet, the oldest professional ballet company in the U.S., in 1938. He then returned to Salt Lake City, Utah, founding both the ballet department at the University of Utah in 1951, the first of its kind, and Ballet West in 1963. His historical production of The Nutcracker sparked a long-lasting cultural phenomenon that continues today, transcending generations to become a holiday tradition for millions of Americans each year.