Each year at Christmas, the snowflakes fall like a soft winter dance. Tchaikovsky’s music transports us into an atmosphere of family warmth, love and comfort. The story of The Nutcracker comes to life and accompanies us during the holiday season to make us live memorable and unforgettable moments with our family!
The Nutcracker is a ballet in two acts that tells the story of Clara, a young girl who receives a wooden nutcracker as a gift on Christmas Eve. It turns into a prince after fighting the mouse king and takes Clara to a fantastic kingdom.
The libretto was written by Ivan Vsevolojsk and Marius Petipa based on the version created by Alexandre Dumas from a tale by Hoffman entitled The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The musical composition of this work was created by the Russian composer Tchaikovsky and the genesis of the choreography was done by Marius Petipa, who had to leave it to his assistant Ivanov due to major health problems.
The ballet was first performed on December 18, 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. It later became an international success. Today, this work is arguably one of the most popular ballets in the dance world and certainly a holiday classic.
Christmas Eve and the Kingdom of Sweets: The Nutcracker Story Told
On Christmas Eve, Clara, her brother Fritz and her parents prepare to host their family and friends for the big Christmas Eve party. Among the guests is Clara’s uncle, named Drosselmeyer. He is a rather mysterious and important character in the party, because without him, there would be no presents to put around the majestic Christmas tree!
The party goes well, the children dance and so do the parents. The time for giving presents finally arrives and Uncle Drosselmeyer performs magic tricks to attract the attention of the guests. He then gives every child in the party a present. Clara received one that could be described as quite out of the ordinary; a wooden nutcracker! Clara is happy and even dances with it, except that her brother Fritz is jealous and breaks the wonderful present. Clara is sad, but Uncle Drosselmeyer works his magic and manages to fix it.
The New Year’s Eve party comes to an end and the guests leave one by one. Clara is tired and goes to bed with her nutcracker in her arms. Suddenly, she sees some nasty mice and gets scared. The Christmas tree grows and her nutcracker comes to life. The mice attack her, but the nutcracker conjures up soldiers to fight the mice and her king. The nutcracker kills the mouse king and the battle ends. He suddenly turns into a prince and takes Clara on a long journey to a magical world…
Surrounded by a swirl of glittering snowflakes, Clara and the Nutcracker arrive at the Kingdom of Sweets and are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and Prince Orgeat. Clara meets several characters and is invited to enjoy a feast of flavors, dances and cultures. The festivities begin with the Spanish dance (Chocolate), then the Arabian dance (Coffee), the Chinese dance (Tea), the Russian dance (Trepak), the dance of mirlitons, the waltz of flowers and the pas de deux of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Prince Orgeat. Clara’s journey ends with everyone dancing together.
Of course, all good things must come to an end and Clara eventually wakes up with her wooden nutcracker in her hands…
Was this all a dream, or has Clara shown us that magic really does exist? You have to believe in it and let yourself be amazed by a fantastic world, as Clara did, because otherwise you might never know the wonderful kingdom of sweets!
An ode to imagination, magic and fantasy
The return of the Nutcracker ballet and its enchanting story represents a tradition of magic, love and togetherness for young and old. It is also the time of year when we can live in a world of fantasy in which the imagination certainly knows no bounds. This work invites us to admire the snowflakes, to dance with Clara and her nutcracker, and to become part of the kingdom of sweets… us too!