Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker

A Family Tradition Sweet For Children And Adults

Annie Leibovitz Photographs Baryshnikov and Godunov

Growing up, one of my favorite traditions of the holiday season was going to see Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.  It all began because my school nurse did an exam of students’ backs.  During my exam, she found that I was in need of some help keeping my back straight.  She advised my mother to put me in a dance or gymnastics type program that would train and strengthen my back, or I would need to wear a brace to straighten my back later.   I opted for ballet.  I new world opened for me, as I was introduced to classical music as well as dance.  In those dance classes I met all the greats:  Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky.  [Image Credit:  Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rob Besserer, Cumberland Island, Georgia, 1990. Photograph © Annie Leibovitz. From ‘Annie Leibovitz At Work’]  

Lynda Anne Artful Living Blog The Nutcracker Family Tradition

My mother was very supportive and coming from NYC had a great passion for theater.  Soon we were getting annual tickets to The ABT.  I was honored to have witnessed Baryshnikov’s historic and ahead of its time rendition of Cinderella.  I saw Alexander Godunov dance Wild Boy (oh my), and Patrick Bissell too.  It was a great time for ballet.  Of course, The Nutcracker was a must see every December.  No other story captures the spirit of childhood during the holidays quite like Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.  With all its magic including dancing sugar plums, it’s no wonder it’s a family tradition around the world.  Decades later, my own mother-in-law would renew this tradition in our family as she took all her grandkids to San Francisco’s Nutcracker annually.  

“No other composer has ever succeeded in capturing the fairy-tale world of childhood innocence as inimitably as Tchaikovsky in this most cherishable of his three great ballet scores. The ballet’s title comes from a story written in 1814, by the German fantasy writer ETA Hoffmann, in which a child’s Christmas presents come to life and whisk her off to the Land of Sweets.”  [Source: CLASSICAL FEATURES Best Tchaikovsky Works: 10 Essential Pieces By The Great Composer: Explore the best Tchaikovsky works featuring 10 masterpieces …’.  Published on March 17, 2019  By uDiscover Team.]

See a preview of New York City Ballet Performing The Nutcracker, Waltz Of The Flowers

The good news is we can all see George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™ in select cinemas nationwide on Dec. 5 and 10:

The bad news is, sadly, practicing my spins made me vomit and a career in dance was, alas, not for me.  But I continue to do my ballet barrework to this day.  I have a portable ballet barre old enough that I couldn’t find it online anymore but it is something like this one:

portable ballet barre lynda anne affiliate link

There are so many benefits to dance beyond becoming a prima ballerina.  For me, learning to stand up straight and strengthen my back were reason enough.  Those skills are still in use 35 years later.  In addition to cardio, strengthening, and balance, dance provides the same life long benefits as playing a musical instrument, including your voice.

Why The Gift of Playing Music?

  • It’s fun! And can be as social as you want it to be.  Learn to play alone or to build friendships and start a band!
  • It makes you smart.  Studies show playing an instrument gives kids an advantage in school, and exercises the aging brain too!
  • It heals the soul! Music is therapy for the musician and the audience.  Studies show playing music reduces anxiety and depression. 
  • It’s a gift that lasts a lifetime; a gift that will continue give back year after year!

From coordination and gross motor skills, to physics and geometry, dance is an exercise for your mind, body and spirit, no matter your age. 

Would you like to see a performance of The Nutcracker, take dance lessons, or give the gift of dance to someone else?  Here’s how I found performances and classes near me: 

I did an internet search of “The Nutcracker Near Me” and clicked on a result by the search engine entitled EVENTS.  It lead me to a list a nearby performances and teachers within my area.  I used the same EVENTS page to search “dance lessons near me.”  There were surprisingly more than I thought.

On a limited budget? 

Clear some space in your home or outdoor space.  Go over to your favorite video stream, like Youtube for example, and search dance lessons.  Let the dancing begin.   

May you be inspired and moved by the music of Tchaikovsky paired with beautiful blooms.  Live artfully! ~Love, Lynda Anne

Make This Year’s Holiday Planning Child’s Play, Start Early With Help From Lynda Anne

Don’t wait until the last minute worrying if gifts will arrive on time, and then, if you’ll even have time to wrap them.  Free online shipping takes a little longer, but the value is definitely worth it!  Save BIG(!) and be nice to you this holiday season!  Shop Now!

Holiday Decorating Even A Child Can Do

Nothing gets you into the spirit of the holidays faster than decorating.  

Now that you’re in the mood for the holidays, let’s get you ready for the Holiday Parties!

Whether it’s this kind of party 

or this kind of party

or even this kind of party, Lynda Anne’s got you covered.  

 Pick your party dress, or ugly sweater, or tux…. Just don’t go empty handed.  Here’s gift ideas for any budget. 

Gifts Under $5

Gifts Uner $10

Lynda Anne Travel Essentials Gift Ideas under $10

Gifts Ideas For Any Budget

Find gifts for the one who has everything, such as simply the best – and most impressive – cup of coffee you’ll ever taste. 

No Time For This?  Send A Gift Basket 

Or better yet, enlist a free personal shopper

A favorite holiday tradition, here’s some Stocking Stuffer Ideas (With a few new stockings and traditional favorites too)

And Don’t Forget The Gift Wrap!

Are You Heading Home For The Holidays?  Let Lynda Anne help you plan.  Get the latest travel essentials today.

Lynda Anne Travel Needs

Whatever you do, wherever you go, have a merry, happy, joyful, glad, fun, wonderful holiday season!

Live Artfully!


Lynda Anne

Music Therapy For End Of Life Patients

You can just see the pure joy this music is bringing Peg Gleason, as she listens to her son, saxophonist James Edward Gleason, plays Ava Maria for her. 

Music brings healing to the soul.  Give the gift of music.  Gift the gift of healing. Every new music student is a new healer in the making.  Let the healing begin with you now; pick out a student instrument for yourself or for someone you love.

Broken Dreams And What It Takes To Survive In The Mojave Desert

My last camping adventure before returning to San Francisco for the summer took me to the Mojave Desert in June 2018.  Temperatures reached about 105 degrees.   I spent the days exploring in my car so I could run the ac and cool off a bit between stops.

As you can see by my campsite, shade is non existent.

While exploring I came upon more than a few sad and abandoned dreams in one form or another.

Which left me wondering how does one survive in the Mojave Desert?  Of course, nature has done a much better job.

But humans aren’t inclined to give up.  And even though small things seems to thrive in California’s Mojave Desert, big things seem to be sprouting about 5 miles from the camp site.

What do you think they are planning to grow? Bigger question is where do you think the water will come from?  Is this another broken dream in the making, or is Mojave Desert heading for big changes?  Time will tell.

A Visit To Letterman Digital Arts Center Recycled Water Pond

Come enjoy amazing views in this peaceful oasis located at the Lyons Street entrance of The Presidio in San Francisco, California.  There are paved paths for exploring and benches for contemplating all around the scenic Letterman Digital Arts Center Recycled Water Pond.  Bring your camera and a jacket.   There’s a Starbucks just up the path for snacks, coffee and a potty stop.


What’s Blooming In The Garden

Our garden is cultivated by my brother in law who is also my neighbor.  This year he added more wildflowers to the garden.  He does a wonderful job, doesn’t he?

Here’s what’s blooming in the garden this month.  Click on the images to see them full sized.


A New Chapter In The Artful Living Journey

UPDATE:  I started a new chapter in the Artful Living with Lynda Anne saga one year ago today.  It’s been another year of awesome adventures.  Thank you for joining me as I hunt for inspiration from nature to grow my artful living lifestyle.  And THANK YOU for choosing the Lynda Anne brand.  You mean the world to me!!

~Lynda Anne


All future Lynda Anne Art post will be found here.

To visit the Original The Anne Art Blog Click on the image below.

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Wildflowers At Inspiration Point

I’ve got a new post up over on Patreon. Be the first to see new posts; come join me over there: Artful Living with Lynda Anne

See the stunning bouquets at Inspiration Point

Beautiful Vibrant Bouquets Of Wildflowers At Inspiration Point In San Francisco, CA.

I’ve moved over to Patreon for my blogging needs. In addition to providing educational material for patrons, I can easily share my photos, videos and vlogs. You don’t have to pay to see most posts, so come check them out. The tiered patrons are for folks interested in taking their craft to the next level, be that full time or moving a craft from hobby to paid gigs in addition to your day job.

Of course, you all mean the world to me so I will continue to repost my new blogs here for your convenience as well. I hope you enjoy; thank you for your continued support. I appreciate you!

Monday Morning Inspiration

This is not the original Monday Morning Inspiration post. Sadly, that post, with all the images, just vanished upon opening it for an edit. Unfortunately, it has happened quite a bit since WordPress made some big changes. These things happen with updates and usually get worked out in time. But I don’t really have time to keep re-doing the same posts. The old school blogging is far more time consuming than vlogging. I’ve been having quite a bit of fun live streaming my photowalks when I can get reception. It’s inspired me to use a video format more often. And with the issues WordPress needs to work out, this just seems like the perfect time to explore some of my other ideas.

Click the image to see the entire album

I’ve decided to focus on vlogging at Patreon. I’m just getting started so come check it out. In the meantime, here is the album that got mysteriously erased. Don’t worry I’ll still share with you here, whatever I’m doing. I appreciate your support. Thank you!

So this is how Chapter Two of The Lynda Anne Artful Living Adventure ended. What will happens next??? Find out – Come join us for Chapter 3 over at Patreon!

Mother’s Day Inspiration From Fisherman’s Wharf

April Showers Bring May Flowers

This spring brought an abundance of rain, which to my delight has also brought an abundance of flowers just in time to inspire me for Mother’s Day. I was back at Pier 39 to see what replaced the tulip beds. Here’s some of what I found, and here’s some of what I did with it.

Click here to visit Pier 39 with Lynda Anne and see the pretty flowers
Click here to see what Lynda Anne made for Mother’s Day From Her Pier 39 Photo Walk

Today Was A Sacred Day

Today we held a Celebration Of Life for my mother in law, Peg Gleason. It was so beautiful. I am lucky to have known her and I am so grateful to have attended such a beautiful life celebration.

Click on the image to see the church, hear the choir and her son play Amazing Grace and Ava Maria, see photos of Peg as a bride and young mother, with The Pope, and more.

Thank you for sharing this tender time with me.