Friday, November 23, 2007

it's officially here!

not shopping season - nutcracker season. far and wide this is the day that productions of the nutcracker sprout up all over the country and will not go away until after christmas. from the first time a little dancer scurries across the stage as a mouse decades later when she creaks across the stage as a first act guest, it's the only ballet that a ballet dancer cannot avoid in their career. with double matinées, tea parties, holiday benefits and guest appearances - it's a busy life for any sugar plumb fairy, her cavalier and their tutu clad pals.

in russian and throughout europe, "sleeping beauty" was always christmas ballet, but, in the 1950's productions of the tchaikovsky and petipa's nutcracker in new york (under the direction of george balanchine) and chicago (under the direction or ruth page) elevated it to the christmas icon it is today. most people are familiar with at least the music through it's extensive use movies, television and commercials. even public radio's this american life has been sited for use of the sugar plum fairie's theme out of season.

so, for those of you who have never seen or heard of this glorious ballet, let me give you a synopsis in under 30 seconds. that's less than than it takes to get through the overture, so, don't bother to sit back and get comfy.

presenting the nutcracker in under 30 seconds or less:

clara's parents throw a christmas party and her bratty little brother breaks the new toy nutcracker that she gets from her eccentric godfather. exhausted from the festivities, she falls asleep in front of the christmas tree, but, is awakened by a small scale war going on between rats and mice in the parlor. her nutcracker comes to life, kills the mouse king, transforms into a prince and takes clara through dancing snowflakes to the land of sweets. there, she is greeted by the sugar plum fairy who commands various snacks,beverages,and flowers to entertain her guest before she and the prince dance their hearts out for clara . everyone hits the dancefloor for one last terpsichorean fling then calls it a night.

2 Comments:

Blogger Brook said...

So I always wondered what happened after the last dance number. Hmmmmm.....

9:56 AM, November 25, 2007  
Blogger hi!monkey said...

everyone who has ever appeared in the nutcracker has sworn an oath of secrecy about what happens after the final curtain comes down.

4:30 PM, November 25, 2007  

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