Five Things About The Nutcracker
November 29, 2019
1. Marius Petipa’s two-act ballet The Nutcracker premiered in Russia in 1892 set to original music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the final of his three full-length ballet scores. The story was based on E.T.A Hoffmann’s story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
2. James Kudelka’s adaptation changes the focus of Hoffmann’s story from a little girl, Clara, to two siblings, Marie and Misha. When we meet them they are a quarrelsome pair, constantly fighting, but as their magical journey unfolds they learn to work together. Not only do they defeat the Mouse Tsar and save their friend The Nutcracker, but they also begin the journey from childhood to adolescence.
3. There are 57 animals in the production including a lifelike dancing horse and two bears, one of them on rollerblades! The production also includes a rooster, sheep, fox and unicorns, among other creatures.
4. Unique to the National Ballet’s version, the famous Waltz of the Flowers includes a bee – an addition that features some of the most dazzling choreography in the ballet.
5. The Nutcracker is one of the biggest and most spectacular productions in The National Ballet of Canada’s repertoire. Each show features 233 performers (50 Dancers, 98 Students, 65 Musicians, 20 Singers). The youngest are the little mice in Act I and the Lambs in Act II.
The Nutcracker is onstage December 12, 2019 – January 4, 2020.