A Nutty Tradition from San Francisco

For 70 years and running, this popular outing has pulled in the families.

On Christmas Eve in 1944, the curtain raised on The Nutcracker in San Francisco. It was the first U.S. performance of the ballet, choreographed by artistic director Willam Christensen. With a mere $1,000 budget for the production, members of the troupe helped out by standing in lines to purchase fabric for costumes in ten-yard lengths, all that was allowed during wartime rationing. Today, The Nutcracker is performed by many companies, including Joffrey, Washington, Santa Cruz, Laguna, Oakland, and Sacramento. And, of course, the tradition continues in San Francisco.

Two dancers // Celena Cummings and Joaquim Felsch, 1944 Circle // 1955 Nutcracker

Images: San Francisco Ballet

Two dancers // Celena Cummings and Joaquim Felsch, 1944

Circle // 1955 Nutcracker