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The Nutcracker

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by

Kirsten Schroeder

on 18 December 2013

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Transcript of The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker
Our dance studio puts on a production of The Nutcracker every other Christmas.
The Nutcracker Ballet was written and composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
The Composer
Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer who's works included operas, symphonies, concertos, chamber music, and most famously, ballets.
He was born In Russia on May 7, 1840 and died November 6, 1893.
He took piano lessons from the age of 5, and in only three years, could read music better than his teacher.
His parents were initially supportive of his musical education, but lost interest quickly and decided to send him to a military school in St. Petersburg. out of convenience for them.
Tchaikovsky composed 21 Ballets.
Some of his most well-known ballets include: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and of course, The Nutcracker.
2 act ballet
Performed mainly around the Christmas Season in the United States.
40% of all ticket revenues for live performances in the United States have been for The Nutcracker.
How It All Began
The ballet made it's premiere at Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, on Sunday, December 18, 1892. At first it was very unsuccessful.
This was only a year before Tchaikovsky died.
The Story
Act I opens with the Party Scene. The Stahlbaum family is having their annual Christmas Eve Party. In the family there is President Stahlbaum, Mrs. Stahlbaum, and their two children, Clara and Fritz. Clara's Uncle Drosselmeyer (who is a magician) gives her a special present, a Nutcracker prince, which he claims is magical. Fritz becomes jealous and breaks the toy. Drosselmeyer heals it with his magic and Clara comforts the toy. After party guests leave, Clara and Fritz are sent to bed. Clara sneaks downstairs and falls asleep under the Christmas Tree with the Nutcracker in her arms.

At midnight, the room is filled with an army of mice led by a fierce Mouse King. The Nutcracker awakens, and leads an army of toy soldiers to defeat the Mice. Clara is awakened by the noise and helps her prince by throwing her slipper at the Mouse King's head. He falls and is defeated. As he is dragged away, he curses Clara and she shrinks to the size of the toys.

The Nutcracker toy turns into a real prince, and he leads Clara off to the Land of Snow. Once they enter the enchanted forest, they are welcomed by dancing snowflakes.

Act I
Act II
Once they enter the Land of Sweets, they greeted by the Rose Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy. When the prince tells them of his victory over the Mouse King, he and Clara are rewarded with a round of dances from all of the sweets.

After everyone has danced, the Sugar Plum treats them with a Grande Finale Dance.

The Prince then leads Clara home, where she awakens to find it was only a dream.
Paula Aubry's Nutcracker
Roles Given
Scene I
A Christmas Party at the home of the Governor and Mrs. Silverhaus.

Governor and Mrs. Silverhaus- Parent Volunteers
Clara- 6th-8th Grade By Audition
Fritz- Level 4- 8th Grade By Audtion
Nine boys- Level 4- 8th Grade By Audtion
Nine girls- Level 4- 8th Grade By Audtion
Nine sets of parents- Parent Volunteers
The Butler- Paul Germano
Herr Drosselmeyer (Clara's Grandfather)- John Coghlan
The Red and Blue Dolls- Two Highschoolers By Audition
The Soldiers Dolls- Two Highschoolers By Audition
The Puppet- Acrobatic Highschooler By Audition
Scene II
Later that night...

Christmas Mouse- Level 4- 8th Grade By Audition
NutCracker Prince- 6th-9th Grade By Audition
Mouse King- Junior or Senior By Audition
Candy Cane Mice- All Level 1 students
Toy Soldiers- All Level 3 students
Mouse Soldiers- Highschoolers By Auditions
Scene III
In A Pine Forest...

Snow Queens- Three Highschoolers By Audition
Snowflakes- Highschool
Scene IV
The Land of Sweets...

Angels- Level 4
Spanish Chocolate- Junior High
Arabian Coffee- Level 5
Chinese Tea- Intermediate
Russian Peppermint (Trepak)- Junior High
Marzipan (Dance of the Reed Pipes)- Intermediate
Mother Ginger- Jim Bilgri and Mark Kohl ( Two men who walk on stilts.)
Bon-Bons- Level 2
Waltz of the Flowers- Highschool
Bachelor Buttons- Two Highschoolers By Audition
Rose Queen- Junior or Senior By Audition
Sugar Plum Fairy- Senior By Audition

The Ballet
Preparation
Auditions
Auditions for solos are held the 2nd week in September.
2 auditions are held.
One is for level 4 to Junior High.
The other audition is for High Schoolers.
At auditions, they test you on certain skills based on the part you are auditioning for.
You also have to act out certain scenes as if you were on stage.
19 parts are given in the Level 4 -Junior High age group.
7 non-pointe parts are given to Highschoolers.
10 Pointe parts are given to Highschoolers.
Class Time
Paula Aubry puts together the show in about 10 weeks.
This is only 10-12 rehearsals per class.
Soloists come in on their own time and most teach themselves their dances from videos of previous shows.
Soloists are free to make changes when they want, but teachers advise their decisions.
Party Scene spends about 5 hours a week at the studio aside from normal class time.
High school soloists spend about 8-10 hours at the studio aside from normal class time.
Nutcracker Numbers
350 Dancers
700 Ballet Slippers
20 Pointe Shoes
390 Costumes
Maximum of 4 costume changes per dancer
80 Backstage Parents
20 Parents in the Party Scene
15 is the number of hours Aemilia Grey spent extra per week on her Sugar Plum Fairy Dance.
Questions
Who was the Nutcracker written and composed by?
Answer: Tchaikovsky
How many ballets did Tchaikovsky compose?
Answer: 21 Ballets
What year was the Nutcracker first performed?
Answer: 1892
What is the last name of Clara's family?
Answer: Stahlbaum
Who are Clara and the Prince greeted by when they first enter the Land of Sweets?
Answer: The Rose Queen and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
How often does Paula Aubry put on The Nutcracker?
Answer: Every other Christmas
How many scenes are in Paula Aubry's Nutcracker?
Answer: 4 Scenes
Is Mother Ginger played by a man or a woman?
What skill must they have to be cast as this role?
Answer: Mother Ginger is played by a man!
He must be able to walk on stilts!
Auditions for solos are held during the second week of what month?
Answer: September
How many weeks does Paula Aubry have to put on The Nutcracker?
Answer: 10 Weeks
Fin
The End
Full transcript