The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet by Deborah HautzigA total biased review based on my childhood love for this book:
In the little town I grew up in, every Christmas the second grade class got a special field trip to the Nutcracker ballet. It was something that, my second grade year, I looked forward to SO much! The day came and I remember my mom had bought me a beautiful black crushed velvet dress to wear. Suddenly, I was itching and covered in red dots; chicken pox! It was terrible and I was unbelievably sad to have missed out on that evening with my friends.
Now, here is where my memory fails me, but I think that our good family friend, known affectionally as KK, offered to take me when I got well. I think that the Sunday after I got well from the dreadful pox, I wore my fancy new dress to church and after the services, KK took me to Lubbock, TX, and we saw the Nutcracker. It was the perfect magical experience that I had so hoped for!
Keeping that special event in mind, this book was given to me by KK and I loved it! I recently found it in a stack of books my mom gave me and in reading it to my boys I had a very nice walk down memory lane. I love the story, the pictures and the music that I hear in my head while I read it.
Royal Opera House
Silenced wins at New Renaissance Film Festival. The party comes to life with lots of dancing and as the excitement builds, Uncle Drosselmeyer arrives with a huge box from the Far East out of which come two sets of life-sized dancing dolls. This is not the only treat he has in store and he presents Clara and Frederick with a strange wooden soldier doll. Frederick quickly becomes jealous, a fight follows and soon the doll lies broken on the floor. The party ends and Clara leaves her Nutcracker by the tree before going to bed.
Hoffmann was set to music by Tchaikovsky and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa. Since premiering in western countries in the s, this ballet has become perhaps the most popular to be performed around Christmas time. The suite became instantly popular; however the complete ballet did not achieve its great popularity as a Christmas performance event until almost years later.
If you've never seen this ballet, or you need a refresher on the story, we've provided a synopsis for you below. The Stahlbaums are preparing for their annual Christmas Eve party. The house is decorated with ornaments, wreaths, stockings, mistletoe, and, in the center of it all, a majestic Christmas tree. The Stahlbaum children, Fritz and Clara, wait anxiously for their family and friends to arrive. As the guests begin to appear, the party gathers steam, with much dancing and celebratory laughter. Soon, a mysterious guest arrives.
The libretto is adapted from E. Hoffmann 's story " The Nutcracker and the Mouse King ". Although the original production was not a success, the minute suite that Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet was. However, the complete Nutcracker has enjoyed enormous popularity since the late s and is now performed by countless ballet companies, primarily during the Christmas season, especially in North America. Tchaikovsky's score has become one of his most famous compositions.
During a sweltering Christmas Eve in Melbourne in the late s, the ageing Clara, once a famous Russian ballerina, struggles home through the scorching heat with her meagre shopping. All she can afford is a few provisions and a tiny Christmas tree, which she places on a table. Her young doctor arrives with a reel of archival film showing a young Clara as a ballerina with the Russian Imperial Ballet. Delicious memories fill the room and Clara attempts to dance. Her frail body weakens and the doctor, much concerned, requests the guests leave while he keeps vigil. During a troubled sleep Clara descends into hallucination.