The nutcracker is a two-act ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". It was given its premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on 18 December 1892, on a double-bill with Tchaikovsky's opera, Iolanta.
The complete Nutcracker has enjoyed enormous popularity since the mid-20th century and is now performed by countless ballet companies, primarily during the Christmas season, especially in the U.S. Tchaikovsky's score has become one of his most famous compositions, in particular the pieces featured in the suite.[