I haven’t been to the ballet since I was on a field trip in elementary school. Ironically enough, it was the Nutcracker.
I was wondering I was going to do with two plus hours of sitting while a story is told solely through dance and instrumental music.
It was rather enjoyable. I remember the first act of the story really well:
Drosselmeyer, a local councilman, magician, and Clara’s godfather. He is also a talented toy maker who has brought with him gifts for the children.
Clara gets a special toy a wooden nutcracker carved in the shape of a little man. Her brother breaks it and Clara is heartbroken.
During the night, after everyone else has gone to bed, Clara returns to the parlor to check on her beloved nutcracker. As she reaches the little bed, the clock strikes midnight and she looks up to see Drosselmeyer perched atop it. Suddenly, mice begin to fill the room and the Christmas tree begins to grow to dizzying heights. The nutcracker also grows to life-size. Clara finds herself in the midst of a battle between an army of gingerbread soldiers and the mice, led by their king. They begin to eat the soldiers.
The nutcracker appears to lead the soldiers, who are joined by tin ones and dolls who serve as doctors to carry away the wounded. As the Mouse King advances on the still-wounded nutcracker, Clara throws her slipper at him, distracting him long enough for the nutcracker to stab him.
The mice retreat and the nutcracker is transformed into a handsome Prince. He leads Clara through the moonlit night to a pine forest in which the snowflakes dance around them, beckoning them on to his kingdom as the first act ends.
Thats the part that I remember.
But I didn’t remember was the second act.
Where they travel to the Land of the Sweets, Ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy.
All the amazing dance styles by the lands inhibitants and all the familar melodies that are used in so much pop culture…. Home Alone, Fantasia, even alot of TSOs songs include bits from these popular songs.
It was a visual masterpeice.