Monday 14 December 2015

The Nutcracker Ballet

Students have been learning about the Nutcracker Ballet in these two weeks leading up to the holidays. You can follow the story with us below! All videos are from the Moscow Ballet's The Great Russian Nutcracker, which can be found on YouTube.

Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker opens to Tchaikovsky's Overture where Uncle Drosselmeyer puts the finishing touches on his Christmas gifts for the party that evening. He has magic dolls of all kinds ready to dance for Clara and Fritz.

Next is a view of the skyline as party goers make their way to the Christmas Eve party at Clara & Fritz's home!

Now we are inside Clara & Fritz's home. Party goers arrive and Uncle Drosselmeyer hands out gifts to the children.

Uncle Drosselmeyer unveils his beautiful, life-sized Harlequinn Doll to the delight of all the Party Guests.

Uncle Drosselmeyer unveils his life-sized magic dolls for party guests of the Stahlbaum's. Kissy Doll and Harlequinn entertain.

Uncle Drosselmeyer brings a life-sized Matrushak Doll to the Christmas Eve Party and out jumps the wild Moor Dolls!

Uncle Drosselmeyer gives the children gifts at the Stahlbaum's Christmas Eve Party and Masha receives a funny-faced Nutcracker Doll that she treasures....but soon brother Fritz manages to break it.

Clara is heartbroken and falls asleep by the tree with her Nutcracker. Then Clara is awakened to the sounds of scurrying mice, a growing Christmas tree and the Nutcracker doll magically comes to life!

The Rat King and his mice battle the Nutcracker Doll and his army with their golden cannon shooting roses of reconciliation. But it is Clara who saves the day by felling the Rat King with a toss of her ballet slipper.

Clara broke the spell on the Nutcracker Doll and he is now joyfully transformed to his real self, a Prince. The joy is abundant in the sweet and shimmering Waltz of the Snowflakes.

Sergey Chumakov and Elena Petrichenko perform Moscow Ballet's 2 person Dove of Peace at the opening of Act II of the Great Russian Nutcracker. The Dove of Peace, with a 20' wingspan, escorts Masha and the Nutcracker Prince to the Land of Peace and Harmony. 

When they arrived to the Land of Peace and Harmony (also called The Land of the Sweets in other versions), Clara and the prince were greeted by many sweets from different lands. Each performed a special dance in honour of their guest, Clara.

First to perform was chocolate, dancing a lively Spanish flamenco!

Coffee danced next, performed by beautiful Arabian dancers. The music was exotic and the dancers moved smoothly and delicately, just like steam rising from a hot cup of coffee.

The Chinese dancers followed with a bubbly tea dance!

In jump the candy canes, performing an energetic traditional Russian Trepak!

In float the dancing flowers, performing the most beautiful waltz Clara has ever seen!

For the finale, the Sugar Plum Fairy performs a delicate and stunning solo and names Clara and the prince rulers of the Land of Peace and Harmony.

The following morning, Clara woke up in her house and saw the Nutcracker beneath the Christmas tree along with the presents. Was it all a dream? Most people would say it was but in her heart Clara knew that her Nutcracker was real.


Is Home Alone one of your holiday favourites? We discovered that Macaulay Culkin (the actor who played Kevin McAllister) also performed in the Nutcracker. You can watch most of that version here:

Finally, to wrap up our Nutcracker unit, students sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed my personal childhood favourite, The Nutcracker Prince. 

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