I'm watching Ovation's "Battle of the Nutcrackers"--a week of various interpretations with a vote for your favorite at the end. This triggered a very old question that bugged me for years. Somewhere around junior high (way back when school was elementary to junior high & senior high) I read about Petipa's original choreo. The book stated he choreographed the dances & then told Tchaikovsky he needed exactly so many bars of music for waltz or whatever rhythm. In my old age this concept is driving me bats--how can anyone choreograph without music?? And how could ANYBODY tell Pyotr Ilych what to compose??? To any one whose interest is ballet: has anyone choreographed non-existent music & then told the composer what to write???? Or am I merely delusional?? I think the book was histories of the great ballets--or great ballet companies. If it strikes a chord with anybody, I'd really appreciate a reply.