For some people, The Nutcracker is a yearly tradition. For others, it’s an occasional escape back to childhood. For all, The Nutcracker is a timeless classic that keeps people wanting more.
For those who aren’t familiar with The Nutcracker, here’s a little bit of history. The Nutcracker is a two-act ballet that was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov and includes the famous score by Pyotr Llyich Tchaikovsky. It premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on December 18, 1892 on a double-bill with Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. The ballet itself is an adaptation of E.T.A Hoffmann’s story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Alexandre Dumas called The Tale of the Nutcracker. The plot had to be greatly simplified and some parts, including a flashback that explains how the Prince was turned into the Nutcracker, had to be cut from the ballet.
The story takes place on Christmas Eve at the home of the Silberhaus family. (With different productions, the names and plot of the story vary slightly.) The Christmas tree has been decorated and the children are in awe of the sparkles and adornments. Herr Drosselmeyer is a local councilman, as well as Clara and Fritz’s godfather, and he brings gifts for the children. The toy that Clara takes a liking to is a wooden nutcracker in the shape of a little man. The story follows Clara as she goes on an adventure with the Nutcracker, who is turned into a handsome prince, to the Land of Sweets, ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy.