For 25 years, the Moscow Ballet — an American company that hires Russian dancers — has toured its production of The Great Russian Nutcracker around the country. While the basic structure of The Nutcracker story remains unchanged, many of the dances and characters in this production are a bit different from the more traditional versions. The ballet employs the talents of local children (who perform as mice and party-goers) but its main character, Masha (aka Marie) is played by an adult ballerina. Noticeably absent is the Sugar Plum Fairy, who is replaced by Masha and her Nutcracker Prince as they perform the grand pas de deux in one of the final scenes. Among the most striking elements in this production are the painted backdrops created by La La Land set concept designer Carl Sprague.