A viewing of the Jacobs School of Music’s annual production of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker often makes the list of “must-do” IU events. I, however, somehow managed to make it four years without settling into the seats at the Musical Arts Center (MAC) for the production’s dazzling visual array of festive holiday cheer.
If you’re like me, never fear: thanks to the online archive Jacobs has available for viewing, you can watch a 2019 production of The Nutcracker—and many other ballets, operas, and performances—from the comfort of your home.
I’ve been to performances at the MAC before, but I’m forever blown away by the size and grandeur of the productions there; the costumes and sets are always magnificent, and those of The Nutcracker don’t disappoint. One advantage of the online platform is that unlike a live production, you can always press pause and return to it later, which I did—it was nice being able to watch little bits of it throughout the course of a week.
My favorite part of watching The Nutcracker, though, was how bittersweet the experience was. On the one hand, it’s hard not to feel slightly sad about watching such a huge production that attracts large crowds when we’re still in the midst of the pandemic. But on the other, watching it feels comforting, nostalgic, reminiscent of a simpler time—which is how I’ve always felt about The Nutcracker, since it’s one of those cultural cornerstones that is generally considered to be worth viewing again and again. In that way, it transcends time. It’s a cozy reminder that the world will get better, and we’ll all get back to filling the seats of performance venues and movie theaters eventually.
To watch The Nutcracker, visit this site.