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The Nutcracker

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Author Topic: The Nutcracker  (Read 557 times)
Carolina Brewer
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« on: December 20, 2007, 01:13:18 am »

Konstantin Ivanov's original sketch for the set of The Nutcracker (1892)

The Nutcracker (Russian: Щелкунчик, Shchelkunchik) Op. 71, is a fairy tale-ballet in two acts, three tableaux, by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composed in 1891–92. Alexandre Dumas père's adaptation of the story by E. T. A. Hoffmann was set to music by Tchaikovsky (written by Marius Petipa and commissioned by the director of the Imperial Theatres Ivan Vsevolozhsky in 1891). In Western countries, this ballet has become perhaps the most popular ballet performed, primarily around Christmas time.

A selection of eight of the more popular numbers from the ballet was made by the composer before the ballet's December 1892 premiere, forming The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, intended for concert performance. The suite was first performed, under the composer's direction, on 19 March 1892 at an assembly of the St. Petersburg branch of the Musical Society[1]. The suite became instantly popular; the complete ballet did not achieve its great popularity until around the mid-1960s. Some indication of how much The Nutcracker Suite once eclipsed the fame of the ballet may be found in Deems Taylor's commentary in the roadshow version of Walt Disney's 1940 animated film Fantasia, which features the suite as one of the animated segments. Taylor observes matter-of-factly, "[The ballet] isn't performed anymore", a statement which certainly does not hold true today, and, indeed, has not been true since the mid-1950s, when George Balanchine's production achieved great popularity in New York.

Among other things, the score of The Nutcracker is noted for its use of the celesta, an instrument that the composer had already employed in his much lesser known symphonic poem The Voyevoda (premiered 1891).^  Although well-known in The Nutcracker as the featured solo instrument in the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from Act II, it is employed elsewhere in the same act.

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Carolina Brewer
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2007, 01:20:48 am »

Original characters for the ballet

NOTE: The two lists of characters below are derived from the score (see reprint of Soviet ed.: Peter Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker: a ballet in two acts. For piano solo. Op. 71. Melville, N.Y.: Belwin Mills Publ. Corp., [n.d.], p. 4). Productions of the ballet vary in their fidelity to this assignment of roles.
Characters (translated from Russian preliminaries of the Soviet ed.)
•   President Silberhaus
•   His Wife
•   Their children:
o   Clara [Mary]
o   Fritz
•   Marianna, the President's niece
•   Counsilor Drosselmeyer, godfather of Clara and Fritz
•   Nutcracker
•   Sugarplum Fairy, sovereign of sweets
•   Prince Koklyush [Orgeat]
•   Major-domo
•   Doll
•   Soldier
•   Colombine
•   Mama Gigogne
•   Mouse King
•   Relatives, guests, people in costume, children, servants, mice, dolls, hares, toys, soldiers, gnomes, snowflakes, fairies, sweets, pastries, sweetmeats, moors, pages, princesses, retinues, buffoons, shepherdesses, flowers, etc.
The following more detailed, and somewhat different, extrapolation of the characters (in order of appearance) is drawn from an examination of the stage directions in the score (Soviet ed., where they are printed in the original French with added Russian translation in editorial footnotes):
•   President
•   His Wife
•   Invitees
•   Children, including
o   Clara and Fritz [children of the President]
•   Parents dressed as "incroyables"
•   Counsilor Drosselmeyer
•   Dolls [spring-activated]:
o   Doll, appearing out of a cabbage [1st gift]
o   Soldier, appearing out of a pie or tart [2nd gift]
•   Nutcracker [3rd gift, at first a normal-sized toy, then full-sized and "speaking", then a Prince]
•   Owl [on clock, changing into Drosselmeyer]
•   Mice
•   Sentinel [speaking role]
•   Hare-Drummers
•   Soldiers [of the Nutcracker]
•   Mouse King
•   Gnomes, with torches
•   Snowflakes    ACT II
•   Sugarplum Fairy
•   Clara
•   Prince
•   12 Pages
•   [Eminent members of the court]
•   [Performer(s) for Spanish dance]
•   [Performer(s) for Arab dance]
•   [Performer(s) Chinese dance]
•   [Performer(s) Russian dance]
•   [Performers for dance of the reed-flutes (= Fr. "mirlitons"; Russ. = "пастушки," shepherdesses)]
•   Mother Gigogne
•   Buffoons (= Fr. polichinelles)
•   Flowers
•   Prince Orgeat [Koklyush
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Carolina Brewer
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2007, 01:24:33 am »


The story has been published in many book versions including colorful children-friendly versions. The plot revolves around a German girl named Clara Stahlbaum or Clara Silverhaus. In some Nutcracker productions, Clara is called Marie. (In Hoffmann's tale, the girl's name actually is Marie or Maria, while Clara - or "Klärchen" - is the name of one of her dolls.)

Act I

The work opens with a brief “Miniature Overture”, which also opens the Suite. The music sets the fairy mood by using upper registers of the orchestra exclusively. The curtain opens to reveal the Stahlbaums' house, where a Christmas Eve party is underway. Clara, her little brother Fritz, and their mother and father are celebrating with friends and family, when the mysterious godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer, enters. He quickly produces a large bag of gifts for all the children. All are very happy, except for Clara, who has yet to be presented a gift. Herr Drosselmeyer then produces three life-size dolls, who each take a turn to dance. When the dances are done, Clara approaches Herr Drosselmeyer asking for her gift. It would seem that he is out of presents, and Clara runs to her mother in a fit of tears and disappointment.

Drosselmeyer then made up a toy Nutcracker, in the traditional shape of a soldier in full regalia. Clara is overjoyed, but her brother Fritz is jealous, and breaks the Nutcracker.

The party ends and the Stahlbaum family goes to bed. While everybody is sleeping Herr Drosselmeyer fixes the Nutcracker. Then Clara wakes up and sees her window open. When the clock strikes midnight, Clara hears the sound of mice. She wakes up and tries to run away, but the mice stop her. Or perhaps Clara is still in a dream: the Christmas tree suddenly begins to grow to enormous size, filling the room. The Nutcracker comes to life, he and his band of soldiers rise to defend Clara, and the Mouse King leads his mice into battle. Here Tchaikovsky continues the miniature effect of the Overture, setting the battle music predominantly in the orchestra's upper registers.

A conflict ensues, and when Clara helps the Nutcracker by holding the Mouse King by the tail, the Nutcracker seizes his opportunity and stabs him. The mouse dies. The mice retreat, taking their dead leader with them. The Nutcracker is then transformed into a prince. (In Hoffmann's original story, and in the Royal Ballet's 1985 and 2001 versions, the Prince is actually Drosselmeyer's nephew, who had been turned into a Nutcracker by the Mouse King, and all the events following the Christmas party have been arranged by Drosselmeyer in order to break the spell.)

Clara and the Prince travel to a world where dancing Snow Flakes greet them and fairies and queens dance, welcoming Clara and the Prince into their world. The score conveys the wondrous images by introducing a wordless children’s chorus. The curtain falls on Act I.

Act II

Clara and the Prince arrive at the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Sugar Plum Fairy and the people of the Land of Sweets dance for Clara and the Prince in the dances of Dew Drop Fairy, the Spanish dancers (sometimes Chocolate), the Chinese dancers (sometimes Tea), the Arabian dancers (sometimes Coffee), the Russian dancers (sometimes Candy Canes--their dance is called the Trepak), Mother Ginger and her Polichinelles (sometimes Bonbons, Taffy Clowns, or Court Buffoons in Baryshnikov's production), the Reed Flutes (sometimes Marzipan shepherds or Mirlitons), the Sugar Plum Fairy, and the Waltz of the Flowers. The dances in the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy are not always performed in this order.

After the festivities, Clara wakes up under the Christmas tree with the Nutcracker toy in her arms and the curtain closes. (In Balanchine's version, however, she is never shown waking up; instead, after all the dances in the Kingdom of Sweets have concluded, she rides off with the Nutcracker/Prince on a Santa Claus-like flying sleigh, complete with reindeer, and the curtain falls. This gives the impression that the "dream" actually happens in reality, as in Hoffmann's original story. The 1985 Royal Ballet version seems to imply the same thing, since at the end, Drosselmeyer's nephew, who had really been transformed into a nutcracker, reappears in human form at the toymaker's shop.)

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Carolina Brewer
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2007, 01:27:12 am »

History of the ballet


Tchaikovsky himself was less satisfied with this, his last ballet. Though he accepted the commission (again from Ivan Vsevolozhsky), he did not particularly want to write it (though he did write to a friend while composing the ballet: "I am daily becoming more and more attuned to my task.")[citation needed]

Whilst composing the ballet, Tchaikovsky is said to have argued with a friend who wagered that the composer could not write a tune based on the notes of the octave in sequence. Tchaikovsky asked if it mattered whether the notes were in ascending or descending order, and was assured it did not. This resulted in the beautiful haunting tune of the Adagio Pas de Deux in the Second Act. So the composer won his wager.


The first performance of the ballet was held as a double premiere together with Tchaikovisky's last opera Iolanta on December 18, 1892, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Russia. Who exactly choreographed the first production has been debated. Although Lev Ivanov, Second Balletmaster to the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres is often credited, contemporary accounts credit Marius Petipa, Premier Maître de Ballet of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres. The ballet was conducted by Riccardo Drigo, with the Antoinetta Dell-Era as the Sugarplum Fairy, Pavel Gerdt as Prince Coqueluche, Stanislava Belinskaya as Clara, Sergei Legat as the Nutcracker-Prince, and Timofei Stukolkin as Drosselmeyer.

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Carolina Brewer
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2007, 01:27:49 am »

In other countries

The Nutcracker balletThe ballet was first performed outside Russia in 1934, in England. It was not until 1944 that the first complete production in the U.S. took place, performed by the San Francisco Ballet, and choreographed by Willam Christensen. The company was the first in the U.S. to make the ballet an annual tradition - until 1954, when George Balanchine followed in Christensen's footsteps by choreographing and premiering his New York City Ballet version. Balanchine's Nutcracker has since been staged in New York every year since, performed live on television twice, and made into a poorly received full-length feature film starring Macaulay Culkin in 1993. Its stage success contributed greatly to making productions of The Nutcracker annual Christmas season traditions all over the world - a phenomenon which did not really come to flower until the late 1960s. In Balanchine's version, the roles of Clara (here called Marie) and the Nutcracker are danced by children, and so their dances are choreographed to not be as difficult as the ones performed by the adults.

The Baryshnikov Nutcracker

The popularity of the Balanchine Nutcracker could be said to have been seriously challenged, however, by the highly acclaimed American Ballet Theatre version choreographed by and starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, which premiered in 1976 at the Kennedy Center, was re-staged for television in 1977, and is now a television holiday classic.

Baryshnikov omits the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, and gives their dances to Clara and the Prince, so that in his version, the two do not merely sit out most of the entire second act as they do in other productions (notably Balanchine's). And although the Mother Ginger and her Clowns music is heard, we never see Mother Ginger herself, only four court clowns who perform the dance.

The stage version of this production originally starred Baryshnikov, Marianna Tcherkassky as Clara, and Alexander Minz as Drosselmeyer, However, for the TV version the role of Clara went to Gelsey Kirkland, and it is Kirkland, not Tcherkassky, who has been widely seen in this production of the ballet. Clara is considered one of Gelsey Kirkland's most memorable roles.

Except for Tcherkassky, the rest of the cast of this production also appeared in it on television. The television version was not a live performance of the ballet, but a special presentation shot on videotape in a TV studio (with no studio audience) in Toronto, Canada.

The Baryshnikov Nutcracker has since become both the most popular television version of the work and the bestselling videocassette and DVD version of the ballet. It usually outsells not only every other video version of The Nutcracker, including the 1993 film of Balanchine's version, but every other ballet video as well. It is only one of two versions of the ballet to have been nominated for Emmys - the other was Mark Morris's intentionally exaggerated and satirical take on the ballet, The Hard Nut, telecast on PBS in 1992. (In 1958, a short-lived television anthology entitled Seven Lively Arts, on which the Balanchine Nutcracker had been telecast in 1957, did win an Emmy for Best New Program of the Year, so one could say that The Nutcracker was included in the win.)

Years later, Alessandra Ferri danced the role of Clara in a stage revival of Baryshnikov's production.

Mark Morris's version

In 1990, Mark Morris began work on his version of The Nutcracker, taking inspiration from the horror-comic artist Charles Burns. The art of Charles Burns is personal and deeply instilled with archetypal concepts of guilt, childhood, adolescent sexuality, and poignant, nostalgic portrayals of post-war America.

He enlisted a team of collaborators to create a world not unlike that of Burns’ world, where stories take comic book clichés and rearrange them into disturbing yet funny patterns.

Morris turned to Adrianne Lobel to create sets that would take Hoffmann’s tale out of the traditional German setting and into Burns’ graphic, black and white view of things. With these immense sets and scrims, lighting designer James F. Ingalls created a dark world within retro 1960s suburbia and costume designer Martin Pakledinaz created costumes that helped bring to life Burns’ world, described as being “at the juncture of fiction and memory, of cheap thrills and horror.” The last of 10 pieces Mark Morris created during his time as Director of Dance at the National Opera House of Belgium, the piece was his most ambitious work to date. He called it The Hard Nut.

The Hard Nut premiered on January 12, 1991 at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, just short of the 100th anniversary of the creation of Tchaikovsky’s classic score. Audiences found it a shocking but exhilarating version of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, its impact still felt year after year. Shortly after the premiere, MMDG returned to the United States, having finished their three-year residency at the Monnaie. But the Monnaie seemed the most fitting stage to film the production so the company returned six months later with film crew in hand for encore performances in Belgium’s national opera house that were made available on VHS and Laserdisc. A DVD release is scheduled in 2007.

Recent Russian versions

There have been notable Russian productions of the ballet in recent years, performed by the Bolshoi Ballet and the Kirov Ballet respectively. These have also been released on DVD.

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Carolina Brewer
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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2007, 01:29:04 am »


Countless recordings have been made since the early twentieth century of the Nutcracker Suite, but it was not until the LP album was invented that recordings of the complete ballet began to be made. Because the ballet is ninety minutes long, it fitted very comfortably onto two LPs. Most CD recordings take up two discs, often with fillers due to the ninety-minute length of the ballet. An unusual exception is the Valery Gergiev recording, which ran for 81 minutes and thus fitted onto one CD.

1954, the year in which the Balanchine version of the ballet was first staged, was also the year that the first complete recording - in mono sound - appeared on Mercury Records. It was performed by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Antal Dorati, who years later went on to record it complete twice more with other orchestras, on Mercury Records in 1962 and on Philips Records in 1975, respectively. These later recordings were both made in stereo. The 1975 recording has been hailed by some as the finest ever made of the complete ballet.

In 1956, the conductor Artur Rodzinski made a complete recording of the ballet on stereo master tapes for Westminster Records, but because stereo was not possible on the LP format in 1956, the ballet was issued in stereo on magnetic tape, and only a mono LP set was issued. (Recently, the Rodzinski performance was issued in stereo on CD.)

In 1958, the first stereo LP of the complete ballet, with Ernest Ansermet conducting the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, appeared on Decca Records in the UK and London Records in the U.S. And with the advent of the stereo era coinciding with the growing popularity of the complete ballet, many other complete recordings of it have been made over the last thirty years. Notable conductors who have done so include Maurice Abravanel, Andre Previn, Valery Gergiev, Mariss Jansons, Seiji Ozawa, Richard Bonynge, Semyon Bychkov and Gennadi Rozhdestvensky.

The soundtrack of the 1977 Baryshnikov television production, conducted by Kenneth Schermerhorn, was issued in stereo on a CBS Masterworks 2 LP-set, but it has not appeared on CD. It was, for a time, the only stereo version of this soundtrack available, since the show was originally telecast only in mono, and it was not until recently that it began to be telecast with stereo sound. The 2004 remastered DVD of this production has also been issued in stereo.

The first complete recording of the ballet in digital stereo was issued in 1985, on a 2-CD RCA set featuring Leonard Slatkin conducting the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. This album originally had no "filler", but it has recently been re-issued on a multi-CD set containing complete recordings of Tchaikovsky's two other ballets, Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty.

The two major theatrical film versions of the ballet, Nutcracker: The Motion Picture , conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, and George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, conducted by David Zinman, have each had soundtrack recordings as well.

Notable albums of excerpts from the ballet, rather than just the usual Nutcracker Suite, were recorded by Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra for Columbia Masterworks, and Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for RCA Victor. Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, as well as Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra have also recorded albums of extended excerpts. Neither Ormandy, Reiner, nor Fiedler ever recorded a complete version of the ballet; however, Kunzel's album of excerpts runs 73 minutes, containing more than two-thirds of the music.

Conductors who have recorded only the Nutcracker Suite include such luminaries as Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Leopold Stokowski, Mstislav Rostropovich, Herbert von Karajan, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Neville Marriner and James Levine, among many others.

Josh Perschbacher's 2007 organ arrangement and recording included only the Overture, Marche, Dance Sugar Plum Fairy, Russian Dance, Arabian Dance, Chinese Dance, Dance of the Mirlitrons, and Waltz of the Flowers. This more closely resembles the selections in Walt Disney's Fantasia
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Carolina Brewer
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2007, 01:31:11 am »

The music

The music in Tchaikovsky's ballet is some of the composer's most popular. The music belongs to the Romantic Period and contains some of his most memorable melodies which are frequently used in television and film. The Trepak, or Russian dance, is one of the most recognizable pieces in the ballet, along with the famous Waltz of the Flowers and March, as well as the ubiquitous Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy, which can be heard in several commercials during the Christmas season. The ballet contains surprisingly advanced harmonies and a wealth of melodic invention unsurpassed in ballet music. Nevertheless, the composer's reverence for Rococo and late 18th-century music can be detected in passages such as the Overture, the "Entrée des parents," and "Tempo di Grossvater" in Act I.
One novelty in Tchaikovsky's original score was the use of the celesta, a new instrument Tchaikovsky had discovered in Paris. He wanted it genuinely for the character of the Sugar-Plum Fairy to characterize her because of its "heavenly sweet sound". It appears not only in her "Dance," but also in other passages in Act II. Tchaikovsky also uses toy instruments during the Christmas party scene. Tchaikovsky was proud of the celesta's effect, and wanted its music performed quickly for the public, before he could be "scooped." Everyone was enchanted.
Suites derived from this ballet became very popular on the concert stage. The composer himself extracted a suite of eight pieces from the ballet, but that authoritative move has not prevented later hands from arranging other selections and sequences of numbers. Eventually one of these ended up in Disney's Fantasia. In any case, The Nutcracker Suite should not be mistaken for the complete ballet.
Although the original ballet is only 90 minutes long, and therefore much shorter than Swan Lake or The Sleeping Beauty, some modern staged performances have omitted or re-ordered some of the music, or inserted selections from elsewhere, thus adding to the confusion over the suites. In fact, most of the very famous versions of the ballet have had the order of the dances slightly re-arranged, if they have not actually altered the music.
•   For example, in The Nutcracker: a Fantasy on Ice, a television adaptation for ice skating from 1983 starring Dorothy Hamill and Robin Cousins, Tchaikovsky's score underwent not only reordering, but also insertion of music from his other ballets and also of music from Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov's Caucasian Sketches.
•   The 1954 George Balanchine New York City Ballet version, first broadcast on TV in 1957 by CBS, and filmed with Macaulay Culkin in the title role for movie theatres in 1993, adds to Tchaikovsky's score an entr'acte that the composer wrote for Act II of "The Sleeping Beauty". It is used as a transition between the departure of the guests and the battle with the mice. During this transition, Clara's mother appears in the living room and throws a blanket over the girl, who has crept downstairs and fallen asleep on the sofa; then Drosselmeyer appears, repairs the Nutcracker, and binds the jaw with a handkerchief. In addition, the "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy" is moved from near the end of Act II to near the beginning of the second act, just after the Sugar Plum Fairy makes her first appearance. To help the musical transition, the tarantella that comes before the dance is also cut.
•   In 1964, on New Year's Eve, ABC-TV telecast a one-hour abridgement of choreographer Lew Christensen's version created for the San Francisco Ballet (the choreographer was one of Willam Christensen's brothers).
•   A filmed German-American co-production, first telecast in the United States by CBS in 1965, hosted and narrated by Eddie Albert, and choreographed by Kurt Jacob, featured a cast made up from several companies, including Edward Villella, Patricia McBride and Melissa Hayden from the New York City Ballet. Famed German dancer Harald Kreutzberg appeared (in what was probably his last role) in the dual roles of Drosselmeyer and the Snow King (though in one listing, Drosselmeyer has been re-christened Uncle Alex Hoffman — presumably a reference to E.T.A. Hoffmann, who wrote the original tale).[1] This production cut the ballet down to a one-act version lasting slightly less than an hour, and drastically re-ordered all the dances, even to the point of altering the storyline (instead of defeating the Mouse King, who does not even appear in this production, Clara and the Nutcracker must now journey to the Castle of the Sugar Plum Fairy, where the Fairy will wave her wand and turn the Nutcracker back into a Prince) . This version inserted some music from Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty, as two bluebirds were brought in as characters to dance the Bluebird Pas de Deux from that work.
•   Rudolf Nureyev's 1967 version for the Royal Ballet, in which he dances both the roles of Drosselmeyer and the Prince, but not the Nutcracker, changes the order of some of the musical numbers, repeating the music of the "mice attack" and the departure of the guests at the end, and omitting the Final Waltz and Apotheosis which normally conclude the ballet. It was videotaped in 1968.
•   In Baryshnikov's American Ballet Theatre version, staged in 1976 and first broadcast on TV in 1977 by CBS, all of the original Tchaikovsky score is used, but the order of most of the dances in Act II (the section of the ballet with the least plot) is changed, and the "Arabian Dance" had to be omitted in the television version in order to bring the program in at ninety minutes with three commercial breaks. Drosselmeyer makes his appearance at the Christmas party earlier, just before the Marche, and the music normally used for his entrance is here used as scoring for the puppet show. Baryshnikov also turned the Adagio from the "Pas de Deux" into a dance for Clara and the Prince rather than one for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier, making it the emotional climax by shifting it to immediately before the "Final Waltz and Apotheosis" which closes the ballet.
•   Pacific Northwest Ballet's Nutcracker, staged in 1983 and filmed for movie theatres in 1986 (as Nutcracker: The Motion Picture) features sets and costumes by Maurice Sendak. It adds a duet from Tchaikovsky's opera The Queen of Spades which is heard during the Christmas party sequence. Also, the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is placed very early in the second act, rather than its traditional place toward the end, and is danced by the dream Clara. This one also omits the Sugar Plum Fairy herself. It should be noted that this version tries to be truer to E. T. A. Hoffmann’s original story, complete with its darker aspects and a second act with more context and flavor, although much of that flavor comes from the imaginations of Sendak and choreographer Kent Stowell, rather than from the actual Hoffmann story.
•   In the Royal Ballet, London's 1985 version, telecast on A&E, Tchaikovsky's score is used and the original order of the dances is not changed at all, but the Mother Ginger dance is omitted. This version was re-staged with some of the same dancers taking different roles, as well as with new dancers, in 2001. In the 2001 version, Alina Cojocaru danced the role of Clara, a role danced in 1985 by Julie Rose. Anthony Dowell, who had danced the Sugar Plum Fairy's Cavalier in 1985, danced the role of Drosselmeyer in the 2001 version, telecast by PBS.
•   And still another ice skating version, 1994's Nutcracker on Ice, starring Oksana Baiul as Clara and Victor Petrenko as Drosselmeyer, shown on several cable stations, was also condensed to slightly less than an hour, radically altering and compressing both the music and the storyline.
However, nearly all of the CD and LP recordings of the complete ballet present Tchaikovsky's score exactly as he originally conceived it.
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Carolina Brewer
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2007, 01:32:47 am »

(left to right) Sergei Legat, as the Nutcracker; an unidentified child as a gingerbread soldier; and Lydia Rubtsova as Marianna in Vsevolozhsky's costumes for the Ivanov/Petipa/Tchaikovsky The Nutcracker. St. Petersburg, 1892
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Carolina Brewer
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2007, 01:34:05 am »

Ivan Vsevolozhksy's original costume sketch for The Nutcracker (1892)
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Carolina Brewer
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2007, 01:35:20 am »

Konstantin Ivanov's original sketch for the set of The Nutcracker, Act II (1892)
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