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Monday, December 06, 2010

The Legend of the Nutcracker


E.T.A. Hoffman wrote the famous ballet of the nutcracker, which was first performed in 1892. However, the story was considered to be too morbid for kids and thus, Alexander Dumas Pere rewrote it to infuse more optimism and happiness in it. The story is about a young girl named Clara. His doting uncle Drosselmeyer gifts her a magical and mysterious nutcracker that she always keeps by her side. One night, when she was sleeping, the evil Mouse King came and tried to take her to his kingdom.







Then, the Nutcracker Prince sprang to life and fought the Mouse King and rescued Clara. The ballet becomes even more interesting and fantasy runs wild from here. After his victory, Clara goes with the Nutcracker Prince to the land of magic and dreams. She visits the land of the dolls and that of the Snow Queen where she met snowflakes of all types. She also goes through the candy land and kids love to hear the sweets from all over the world that she met there. The beautiful flowers and the sugar plum fairy capture their imagination. It is only on the Christmas day that Clara wakes up to find herself back at home, surrounded by her family.






Marius Petipa, the first ballet master to the Tsar of Russia requested Piotr Tchaikovsky to compose the music for the ballet and he did an excellent work on it. Piotr used many different and unusual instruments such a celesta with its bell-like sound in the ballet and kept it very secret until it was first performed because he was worried that somebody might steal his idea before he could use it. The ballet became one of the most famous ballets of its time.