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To me, Thanksgiving has always marked the beginning of something other than anticipation of Christmas…The Nutcracker.

I was asked to write about my relationship to the Nutcracker Phenomenon for my Dance Composition class. Well, it’s been a long-term one with a lot of ups and downs. However, this will be the third year since I started down my academic route and “broke up” with the Nutcracker. I feel that the distance from it has left me with mostly fond memories. The music no longer drives me completely insane and I sometimes find the ballet quite enjoyable. One might even describe the feeling as nostalgia.

It seems that Alastair Macaulay over at the New York Times has been meditating on the same topic. He is embarking on a Nutcracker journey across the U.S. in which he will see at least 20 productions. I think this is totally nuts (pun very much intended), but intriguing nonetheless!

Follow Alastair’s “Nutcracker Chronicles” here.

In the meantime, I’ve seen one Nutcracker already and will being going to a few more including my teacher’s “downtown dance version” at Dance Theater Workshop, Nut/Cracked.

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Written by Nicole Cerutti

Nicole Cerutti is a ballet-turned-modern dancer and arts enthusiast originally from Tampa Bay, Fla. Nicole pursued dance at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College at Columbia University. She currently lives in Brooklyn with Holly Golightly the Cat.