Hey guys! I’m so sorry I’ve not been very involved in the blogging community recently – life has just been so busy with various events and lots of revision for some tests I had this week! Last Saturday night marked a very important night for me; I visited Hull New Theatre to watch my first ever ballet! Some of you may remember the £80 theatre token which I won from the JVenn Young Writer’s Contest and I decided I would spend the token on ‘the nutcracker’ ballet for me and my family to watch. It was an absolutely incredible performance and I loved every second of it! I would definitely reccomend seeing a ballet if you haven’t done so far – it’s a truly amazing experience! So in today’s post, I’m going to outline the story of ‘the nutcracker’ and how the ballerinas interpreted it through dance.
THE STORYLINE OF ‘THE NUTCRACKER’
As the Edwards family prepare for their Christmas party, Clara envisions a myriad of brilliant things that could occur. Her brother Frederick is relentless in teasing her but the arrival of their gorgeous elder sister Louise is enough to silence him. The party starts and builds in excitement and happiness with lots of dancing. Uncle Drosselmeyer sweeps in with a huge box from the Far East, encasing two sets of life – size dancing dolls. He also presents Clara and Frederick with a mysterious, wooden doll. Clara adores the little wooden doll, even more so when her Uncle reveals it’s ability to crack nuts. Frederick becomes jealous and before long, the doll is broken on the floor after a fight. Clara is temporarily devastated until her Uncle succeeds in fixing the doll. After the end of the party, Clara rests her Nutcracker under the tree before retiring to bed. Unseen, Drosselmeyer is working his magic …
Feeling restless, Clara tiptoes down to the dark room and is surrounded by large mice. The room appears to have grown and the China cabinet has transformed into a castle, home to the life sized, living version of her Nutcracker doll. The Mouse King appears and declares war. The Nutcracker gathers his toy infantry and calvary and they all band together in a desperate attempt to defeat the Mouse King. In the end, it’s Clara who distracts the Mouse King so the Nutcracker can seal the victory with a winning blow. Drosselmeyer works his magic for the second time and the Nutcracker is transformed into a handsome young man. Clara holds his hand and they travel into a snowy fairyland with elegant, dancing snow maidens. Drosselmeyer brings a magic sleigh and the Prince along with Clara clamber on board, bidding farewell to the snow maidens and admiring the stunning stars.
They journey all the way into the clouds, until they almost touch the man on the moon before prancing and dancing into an incredible garden. Clara was introduced to the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier who interestingly resembled her sister Louise and her boyfriend James. Clara retells the events of the battle and a host of Arabian Princesses, Russian Cossacks, French ballerinas and exotic flowers all dance for her. Clara joins in and only stops to watch the most amazing dance of all by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. All of a sudden, the dancing ends and Clara is entwined in the arms of her father. She races around the room, telling her father of the crazy, adventurous evening she’d just had. He was very disbelieving and Clara began to question if it had all simply been a dream. As she drags herself to bed, much to her jubilance, she catches sight of her Uncle along with the Nutcracker Prince.
The music is such an integral part of bringing the Nutcracker ballet storyline to life and there’s some really iconic songs in there. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed all the music for the Nutcracker and although I love every single piece he composed that is used in the ballet, I particularly love Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Dance of the Mirlitons.
I was in awe of the dancers from beginning to end. Their elegance and gracefulness shone through and I really appreciated how well they conveyed the storyline with no words at all. All of the female dancers wore pointe shoes to dance in and I was truly envious of the way they illustrated it to be so easy. Being a dancer and ballerina myself, I can vouch for the fact that dancing en pointe takes a lot of practice and patience and it really hurts a lot to press all of your weight onto your toes. It was just incredible how effortless all the dancers made their dancing appear and their technique was absoulutely flawless. I have nothing but praise for every single one of them. The ballet overall was absolutely stunning and I loved it so much! I can’t wait to go and see another one some day.
Thank you for reading this post! Have you ever been to see a ballet? Let me know in the comments section! There’ll be another post out soon but until then bye for now!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull