The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet by Deborah HautzigA total biased review based on my childhood love for this book:
In the little town I grew up in, every Christmas the second grade class got a special field trip to the Nutcracker ballet. It was something that, my second grade year, I looked forward to SO much! The day came and I remember my mom had bought me a beautiful black crushed velvet dress to wear. Suddenly, I was itching and covered in red dots; chicken pox! It was terrible and I was unbelievably sad to have missed out on that evening with my friends.
Now, here is where my memory fails me, but I think that our good family friend, known affectionally as KK, offered to take me when I got well. I think that the Sunday after I got well from the dreadful pox, I wore my fancy new dress to church and after the services, KK took me to Lubbock, TX, and we saw the Nutcracker. It was the perfect magical experience that I had so hoped for!
Keeping that special event in mind, this book was given to me by KK and I loved it! I recently found it in a stack of books my mom gave me and in reading it to my boys I had a very nice walk down memory lane. I love the story, the pictures and the music that I hear in my head while I read it.
If you've never seen this ballet, or you need a refresher on the story, we've provided a synopsis for you below. The Stahlbaums are preparing for their annual Christmas Eve party. The house is decorated with ornaments, wreaths, stockings, mistletoe, and, in the center of it all, a majestic Christmas tree. The Stahlbaum children, Fritz and Clara, wait anxiously for their family and friends to arrive. As the guests begin to appear, the party gathers steam, with much dancing and celebratory laughter.
The Nutcracker is a classical ballet in two acts. It is based on E. Hoffmann 's fairy tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. It tells the story of a little girl who goes to the Land of Sweets on Christmas Eve. Ivan Vsevolozhsky and Marius Petipa adapted Hoffmann's story for the ballet. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote the music.
The libretto is adapted from E. Hoffmann 's story " The Nutcracker and the Mouse King "., Drosselmeyer , who is very good at magic tricks and inventions, mends the doll.
Hoffmann was set to music by Tchaikovsky and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa. Since premiering in western countries in the s, this ballet has become perhaps the most popular to be performed around Christmas time. The suite became instantly popular; however the complete ballet did not achieve its great popularity as a Christmas performance event until almost years later. Performance History and the St. December 6] , at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia.
During a sweltering Christmas Eve in Melbourne in the late s, the ageing Clara, once a famous Russian ballerina, struggles home through the scorching heat with her meagre shopping. All she can afford is a few provisions and a tiny Christmas tree, which she places on a table. Her young doctor arrives with a reel of archival film showing a young Clara as a ballerina with the Russian Imperial Ballet. Delicious memories fill the room and Clara attempts to dance. Her frail body weakens and the doctor, much concerned, requests the guests leave while he keeps vigil. During a troubled sleep Clara descends into hallucination. She dreams that she encounters herself as a child and once again is terrified by shadows in the night.