Please enjoy these photos from ILLUSIONS Dance Studio's performance of the Nutcracker on December 4th!
WHAT IS THE NUTCRACKER?
The Nutcracker is an 1892 two-act ballet that was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score originally by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The Nutcracker has enjoyed huge popularity since the late 1960s and is performed by many ballet companies especially during the Christmas season, but what story does the Nutcracker tell?
The first act opens on Christmas Eve where there are friends and family decorating a Christmas tree in preparation for a party before calling for the children who are amazed by the sight of the tree. The party begins and gifts are presented to the children when the grandfather clock strikes 8 and a mysterious figure appears. The figure is Drosselmeyer, a magician and Clara's godfather but he is also a toymaker who has brought life-like dolls for the children. Drosselmeyer puts the dancing dolls away for safe keeping and presents Clara and her brother Fritz with a wooden nutcracker which Fritz breaks and Drosselmeyer fixes to everyone's delight. After everyone has gone to bed, Clara ventures down to the parlor to check on her nutcracker when the clock strikes midnight and mice begin to fill the room. The nutcracker grows to life size and Clara finds herself in the middle of a battle between gingerbread soldiers and the mice, led by the Mouse King. The nutcracker manages to defeat the Mouse King after Clara had distracted him. The mice retreat and the nutcracker is transformed into a handsome Prince who leads Clara through a forest where the snowflakes dance.
The second act reveals that Clara and the Prince have traveled to the Land of Sweets, ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy until the prince had returned. Clara is rewarded for helping defeat the Mouse King with sweets from around the world. Clara is delighted with chocolate from Spain, coffee from Arabia, tea from China, and candy canes from Russia. Mother Ginger has her children, the Polichinelles perform a beautiful dance. A final waltz is performed by all of the sweets when the Sugar Plum Fairy ushers Clara and the Prince down from the throne where she says goodbye to Clara and leads them to a sleigh where they all say goodbye.
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