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The Nutcracker

Fun fact: CDS teacher Nicole played the role of the Nutcracker in an end of year dance

performance at the young age of 11

The Nutcracker is one of the greatest classical ballets of all time.

Based on the fairy tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, it was first performed at the

Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia on 18 December 1892. The music was written by the famous Pyotr Tchaikovsky and it became one of his most famous compositions.

The first complete performance outside of Russia was in England in 1934, then in the United

States in 1944 and it has become the most frequently performed ballet in the world.

Set on Christmas Eve in Germany, The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara and her family who

are hosting a party. Uncle Drosselmeyer arrives bringing gifts for everyone. He gives Clara a toy Nutcracker and then her brother Fritz gets jealous and breaks it. Magically, the Uncle

repairs it and Clara is so happy. Later that night after the party has finished and the family are going to bed, Clara sneaks back the Christmas tree to find her toy Nutcracker. She falls asleep under the tree with the Nutcracker in her arms and she begins to dream. As she dreams, the Christmas tree begins to grow, the toys come to life and an army of mice fill the room led by the Mouse King. The Nutcracker magically grows to life-size and defeats the Mouse King in a sword fight and then turns into a handsome prince. Clara travels with the prince to a magical kingdom through the land of snow where they are welcomed by dancing snowflakes and on to the land of the Sweets, where they perform a waltz and are welcomed by the Sugar Plum Fairy. They make friends and are entertained with sweets from all around the world. The Sugar Plum Fairy performs a memorable dance and a group of beautiful flowers perform a waltz. These two dances and their music are a very iconic part of the Nutcracker ballet. The ballet ends as Clara awakens, finding herself by the Christmas tree with her Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker ballet is an absolute Christmas classic and every year productions are

performed all around the world.

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