A study of how an 1892 Russian ballet became an incredibly adaptable and universal (hulas, anyone?) dance piece is certainly a noble pursuit. Fisher provides an exhaustive history of what is often the first ballet people encounter, unshelling an enormous amount of information about her subject — the topic of her Ph.D. dissertation — for those who really want to plumb the depths of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece. But such a thoughtful work (hmm, who has the power in a pas de deux?) may make nonballetomanes want the curtain to fall a bit sooner.
- Nutcracker Nation