How A Holiday Tradition Made It To America

Nutcracker Mutt-Cracker
Performing as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Katherine Free, left, dances during the Birmingham's Ballet Mutt-cracker, a rendition of the famous ballet "The Nutcracker," on Dec. 8, 2016 in Birmingham, Ala. Brynn Anderson / Associated Press
Nutcracker Mutt-Cracker
Performing as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Katherine Free, left, dances during the Birmingham's Ballet Mutt-cracker, a rendition of the famous ballet "The Nutcracker," on Dec. 8, 2016 in Birmingham, Ala. Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

How A Holiday Tradition Made It To America

The Nutcracker is one of the most famous and most performed ballets in the world. It’s estimated that almost half Nutcracker productions shown around the world each year are performed in the United States.

The ballet was first performed in Moscow in 1892. So how did this Russian ballet actually make its way to the United States and become a holiday tradition? It started with three brothers from Utah.

Chris Barton, the author of the picture book The Nutcracker Comes to America, tells WBEZ producer Alexandra Salomon the story.