The “French” variation in Helgi Tomasson’s 2004 Nutcracker is a ribbon dance trio.
It’s not the first time that ribbons have been a part of San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker. In 1954, Lew Christensen created a new Nutcracker, designed by award-winning children’s book illustrator Leonard Weisgard, that included a Ribbon Candy dance in the “Russian” variation.
The Ribbon Candy dance became a showstopper for a young Michael Smuin (pictured in rehearsal) who several years later would become SF Ballet’s co-director.
Header image: Ami Yuki in Tomasson’s Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)