music P.I. Tchaikovsky – choreography M. Petipa
dance company: Ballet of the National Opera House of Romania
Act I 45 ” – (interval 15 ”) – Act II 50 “
Love, dream, and fantasy for one of the most fascinating ballets in the history of classical dance. The enchanted sets of the Romanian Opera Ballet make the spectator feel part of Hoffmann’s fairy tale. Because of its characteristics of a happy ending fairy tale and a story permeated by a magical festive atmosphere, “The Nutcracker”: a fairy tale made of candies, soldiers, Christmas trees, snowflakes, and dancing flowers, evil mice, wonders, a prince charming, and a fairy, has become a ballet that captivates children and enchants adults. That’s why it is the most performed show in the world during the Christmas holidays. The conclusion is marked by the exquisite Waltz of the Flowers, after which Clara will find herself in her armchair with her Nutcracker in her lap, happy about this Christmas dream.
During Christmas Eve, in the early 19th century, the mayor organizes a party for his friends and their young children.
While waiting for gifts and filled with enthusiasm, they are dancing when Mr. Drosselmeyer, a family friend, arrives, bringing gifts for all the children and entertaining them with magic tricks, despite initially scaring the children. He orders to have some mechanical toys brought home. With a wave of his wand, three puppets appear – a Nutcracker, a Harlequin, a doll, and a king of mice. He gives Clara, his favorite, a nutcracker in the shape of a toy soldier, which Fritz, the girl’s brother, breaks out of spite. Relatives also arrive at the party and join in the dancing. Clara, tired from the evening’s dances, falls asleep on her bed and begins to dream. It is midnight, and everything around her starts to grow: the room, the Christmas tree, the toys… and especially a myriad of mice who try to steal her nutcracker.
Clara tries to chase them away when the Nutcracker comes to life and joins the battle with Fritz’s soldiers: in the end, only he and the King of Mice remain, putting him in difficulty. To save her Nutcracker, Clara takes off her slipper and throws it at the King of Mice, distracting him; the Nutcracker strikes and kills him. And behold, the Nutcracker transforms into a Prince, and Clara follows him, entering a snowy forest. The Act closes with a splendid Waltz of the Snowflakes.
The two young ones enter the Kingdom of Sweets, where they are received at the Palace by the Sugar Plum Fairy, who asks the Nutcracker to tell her all about his adventures and how he won the battle with the King of Mice. Immediately after, the entire Palace performs a series of dances that make up the most famous and well-known Divertissement of Tchaikovsky’s music, culminating in the widely known Waltz of the Flowers.
Afterward, the Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy perform a Pas de deux, where in the variations, the sound of the celesta, an instrument used by Tchaikovsky for the Sugar Plum Fairy’s variation, can be recognized. The ballet concludes with a final Waltz, and the dream ends: once awakened, Clara recalls her magical dream while embracing her Nutcracker.
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