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Nutcracker Ballet The Nutcracker Story

 

The Nutcracker Ballet, based on E.T.A. Hoffman's "The Nutcracker and the King of Mice", is about a young German girl who anticipates Christmas. When she drifts off to sleep, she dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a variety of inanimate objects that come to life in a fanciful fantasy of dance and song wrapped around a simple plot that entails a fierce battle pitting the Nutcracker against a Mouse King with seven heads.  Marius Petipa is credited with choreographing the story into a ballet based on a revision by  French author Alexander Dumas.

 

Clara and Fritz Stahlbaum, two German children dance and play at an annual Christmas party at their parents' home one Christmas Eve. The grand house with the most beautiful tree imaginable. The party grows festive with music and dance as godfather Drosselmeyer, a skilled clock and toy maker arrives. He is and always full of surprises. Drosselmeyer draws everyone's attention as he presents two life-size dolls. They are the delight of the party, each taking a turn to dance.

The children begin to open gifts when Drosselmeyer presents his to Clara and Fritz. Although his gift to Fritz is quite nice, he gives Clara a beautiful Nutcracker that becomes the hit of the party. Fritz becomes jealous and grabs the nutcracker from Clara, breaking it. Clara is heartbroken looking on as Drosselmeyer quickly repairs the Nutcracker with a handkerchief he magically draws from the air. The guests eventually leave for the night and the family goes to bed. But Clara is worried about her beloved Nutcracker, and sneaks back to the tree to check on him, falling asleep with him in her arms.

As the clock strikes midnight strange things happen. Clara begins shrinking as her beautiful Christmas tree grows high above her. The toys around the tree come to life while the room fills with an army of mice, lead by the fierce Mouse King. The Nutcracker awakens, leading his army of toy soldiers into battle with the mice. The Mouse King corners the Nutcracker and battles him one-on-one. The Nutcracker is no match for the Mouse King and is captured along with his soldiers. Clara makes a final daring charge, throwing her slipper at the Mouse King, hitting him square on the head. The Mouse King drops to the floor and the mice run away, carrying their leader's lifeless body.

 

Then the Nutcracker turns into a Prince and takes Clara on a journey to the Land of Snow, an enchanted forest wonderland where they are welcomed by dancing snowflakes. Next the Prince escorts Clara to the Land of Sweets where they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Prince tells her about their daring battle with the army of mice and she rewards them with a celebration of dances: The Spanish Dance; The Arabian Dance; The Russian Dance; The Chinese Dance; The Mirliton Dance; The Waltz of Flowers. The final dance is a Pas De Deux between the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier. Then Clara awakens from her dream and finds herself by her Christmas tree with her beloved Nutcracker.

 


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