One of Balanchine’s favorite ballerinas, Patricia McBride performed with New York City Ballet from 1959 until 1989, 28 of those years as a principal dancer. In the 1960s, she enjoyed a particularly successful partnership with Edward Villella, performing with him at the Pillow eight times during that decade. In addition to those engagements, Villella also appeared at the Pillow with Violette Verdy, Patricia Wilde, and Susan Hendl, at a time when he was regarded as one of America’s first big male ballet stars. He returned to the Pillow several times in the 1980s and ’90s as Director of the Miami City Ballet, the company he founded in 1986. Although there have been many productions of The Nutcracker since its premiere in 1892, Balanchine’s 1954 version for The New York City Ballet is probably the most famous and influential. This film has been in the filmmaker’s family for more than 50 years and is now publicly accessible for the first time.