Ballet NJ’s Nutcracker returns in November, 2013. Thank you to all of our 2012 season performers, volunteers, and audience!
The most entertaining production of the Nutcracker I have ever seen!
—Gilda Morigi, critic of Dancer Magazine
The Nutcracker Ballet is based on the story “The Nutcracker and the King of Mice” written by E.T.A. Hoffman. Although what is seen on the stage today is different in detail from the original story, the basic plot remains the same; the story of a young German girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a fierce battle against a Mouse King with seven heads.
When Marius Petipa had the idea to choreograph the story into a ballet, it was actually based on a revision by Alexander Dumas, a well known French author. His version reflects more of what we have come to love as the Nutcracker Ballet.
The Party Scene
It is Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaum house—A large and grand house with the most beautiful tree imaginable. The Stahlbaums are hosting their annual Christmas party, welcoming the arrival of their family and friends. The children, Clara and Fritz, are dancing and playing as they welcome their friends too.
The party grows festive with music and dance as godfather Drosselmeyer arrives. He is a skilled clock and toy maker and always full of surprises. Drosselmeyer draws everyone’s attention as he presents three life-size dolls. They are the delight of the party, each taking a turn to dance.
The children begin to open gifts when Clara finds her doll broken. Drosselmeyer presents his gift, a Nutcracker to Clara that becomes the hit of the party. Fritz becomes jealous and, having a bit more spunk than a boy should have, grabs the nutcracker from Clara and promptly breaks it. Clara is heart broken looking on as Drosselmeyer quickly repairs the Nutcracker with a handkerchief.
The Fight Scene
After all the guests leave and as the clock strikes midnight strange things begin to happen. Mice swarm in to the room, stealing the Nutcracker. Endued by the magic of Drosselmeyer, Clara begins shrinking as her beautiful Christmas tree grows high above her. The toys around the tree come to life, and the tiny mice have become rats, led by the fierce Rat King. The Nutcracker, with Clara’s help, leads his army of toy soldiers into battle, defeating the rats.
Clara then meets the Snow King and Queen who dance a beautiful Pas De Deux with their corps of snowflakes.
The Land of Sweets
The Prince escorts Clara to the Land of Sweets where they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy. Clara tells her about their daring battle with the army of mice and she rewards them with a celebration of dances.
- The Spanish Dance
- The Arabian Dance
- The Chinese Dance
- The Marzipan Dance
- The Russian Dance
- Mother Ginger and her Polichinelles Dance
- The Waltz of Flowers
As a finale, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier dance a beautiful Pas De Deux.
The Dream Ends
Clara awakens from her dream and finds herself back in her bed with her beloved Nutcracker.