The History of the Nutcracker Ballet

  • Length: 687 words (2 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

The History of The Nutcracker Ballet
     When we think about The Nutcracker today, we see a memorable story about a girl (Marie) receiving a magical gift at a Christmas party from her mysterious Uncle Dosselmeyer. The gift is a nutcracker. Later that night, the nutcracker ends up turning into a Prince after defeating the Mouse King and saves Marie. Then, he takes Marie to a land called The Kingdom of Sweets where she is greeted by the Sugarplum fairy. This story is one of the most recognized ballets across the globe. However, what we do not think about is the way this ballet was created and how no one believed in the story as a great ballet.
Following the success of The Sleeping Beauty, Ivan Alexandrovitch Vsevolojsky, the director of the Imperial Theaters, wanted to make another ballet with choreographer Marius Petipa and composer Pete Ilyitch Tchaikovsky. Vsevolojsky suggested a story based on a book called Nussknacher und Mausekonig (The Nutcracker and the King of the Mice) by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffman. Hoffman’s story was first published in 1816. It was a part of a collection of children’s fairy tales titled Kindermarchen. This story, however, had a dark twist to the end of it that none of them liked. Because of this, Vsevolojsky decided to pick a nicer version of the story. He found a book that was based on Hoffman’s book. It was written by Alexandre Dumas and it was called L’Historie d’un Casse Noisette (The Story of a Hazelnutcracker).
     Both Petipa and Tchaikovsky still did not like the story and refused to work on the project. Petipa did not think the story was right for ballet dancing. He did not feel that Marie, the main character, was a strong enough character to dance. He did try to write a scenario for the ballet, but he could not think of anything past the scene of what we know of as the kingdom of snow. After Petipa gave up, Vsevolojsky begged and persisted with Petipa to try again. He convinced Petipa and this time he created a new character called the Sugarplum fairy. This character was not in either of the original stories. She was to be the main character, rather than Marie, and she would be the ruler of the Kingdom of Sweets. Petipa felt that this character could dance the big scenes better than the character Marie.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The History of the Nutcracker Ballet." 26 May 2018
Title Length Color Rating  
The Nutcracker by Peter Tchaikovsky Essay - Through hundreds of productions of The Nutcracker, that have thrilled several crowds, audiences have experienced the fear from oversized mice and the thrill of the Land of Sweets. Written by Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker is danced around Christmas annually. The Nutcracker was inspired by and based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s novel, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (“The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet”). A girl named Clara receives a nutcracker as a Christmas present who comes to life to fight the Mouse King....   [tags: mouse king, large mice, nutcracker]
:: 2 Works Cited
1281 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Dancing Through the History Of Ballet Essay - From Giselle to The Nutcracker, ballet is a romantic language, told not through the mouth, but the body. It features a rich, history, notable performances, and specific techniques. Ballet originated in the courts of Italy in the Renaissance period. Rich nobility, royal families, and other well-to-do citizens were generally the only ones who would put on these early ballets. Ballets started out as entertainment for banquets. However, dancing was not the only feature at these luxurious receptions....   [tags: classical dancing styles]
:: 6 Works Cited
1010 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on History of Ballet - The History of Ballet The first experience of watching a ballet, for me or any little girl, can be fascinating and exhilarating. Wondering how a dancer can be so steady on her toes as she spins in circles and leaps through the air. Watching a ballet, there is a feeling of wanting to be graceful, as well as the warm sensation felt by a little girl as she slips into dream land. My mom had taken me to my first ballet when I was 11 years old. When we returned home home, she signed me up for classes at the local dance center....   [tags: essays research papers] 1090 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Boston Ballet Refuses to Fall Essay - Boston Ballet Refuses to Fall What happens when a ballet company’s classic Christmas tradition is unwrapped, discarded, and replaced with a glitzy and glamorous moneymaking expenditure. Many dance enthusiasts are left with this lingering question as The Boston Ballet struggles with a recent announcement from the Wang Theatre, its lifelong performance home, that next year’s production of the Nutcracker is being replaced by a touring show of the infamous Radio City Rockettes. "Im pretty certain this decision was driven by money, which draws the question in everyone’s minds: Which is more important, tradition or money?” said Andrew Kaminski....   [tags: Dance Dancing Papers] 2097 words
(6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The History of Dance in Canada Essay - ... The artistic directors job in to help shape new visions, provide inspired leadership and contribute to the strategic direction of the company. During this time period Toronto Boris Volkoff created another up and coming dance company and may have been willing to accept the challenge of leading a better financially resourced local company such as the National Ballet, but he was overlooked in favor of a woman named Celia Franca. She was an incredibly gifted dancer, ballet mistress (woman who directs and teaches and rehearses dancers in a ballet company) and an up emerging choreographer imported from London....   [tags: first nations peoples, national ballet of Canada] 1421 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The History of Ballet and Beginner's Techniques Essay - History of Ballet and Beginner’s Techniques How did ballet come about and what are some of the beginner’s steps. To understand the roots of ballet, one must first look at the roots of dance in general. Dance has roots in early civilizations. People once used moves and gestures to communicate before the spoken language was invented. Many dance terms and aspects of ballet theaters originated in Greece. Ballet has a long history that leads up to the current style and techniques taught today. Ballet began during Italian balls held in the king’s court....   [tags: classical dance styles]
:: 3 Works Cited
1601 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Nutcracker Suite Essay - Fantasia sees the world as very colorful place where everything has a purpose. The evidence for this is in their interpretive animations in the series of music pieced together to create the nutcracker suite. All the animations in the song are utilized to their max potential. For example, the seaweed in the Arabian dance is used as a curtain of sorts to the fishes cave. The Nutcracker suite is a very jubilant piece of music. As you watch the scene you begin to realise that the animations the colors, etc....   [tags: purpose, fantasia, animations] 536 words
(1.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The History of Ballet - Ballet Many young girls grow up taking ballet class, but there is a lot more to ballet than just little girls running around in tutus. Many people think that ballet is boring or isn’t their thing but there are many roles that go into putting on a ballet. A lot of work goes into doing a ballet. There are many famous ballets that without the story, the ballet wouldn’t be as interesting. There were many influential dancers and choreographers in ballet. There are many basic steps that frame the technique of ballet....   [tags: pointe, dance, choreographer] 1350 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Ballet Analysis: La Sylphide Essay - My first choice was a ballet piece named La Sylphide. La Sylphide is a story about a young Scottish man named James who is soon to be wed. He falls asleep and has an intricate dream about a beautiful sylphide, which is a spirit. In his dream they dance and he soon falls in love with the sylphide. When he awakes, he soon forgets about the sylphide and focuses on his fiancée. A witch soon arrives in the castle that reads palms and tells James he would betray his fiancée on their wedding day. He doesn’t listen and the wedding continues....   [tags: ballerina, james, danish ballet] 749 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Ballet Essay - Football is a very physically demanding sport. According to Taylor (1969), “Professional football is basically a physical assault by one team upon another in desperate fight for land.” (pg. 23) The body is used as weapon to prevent an opposing player from crossing into another's territory. The body must be strong and well equipped to endure the stresses of physical contact. The body is very susceptible to injury when engaging in football. It is important for those who participate in football train their bodies effectively....   [tags: Ballet Training, Dancing] 2453 words
(7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]

Related Searches

Dosselmeyer and Marie then became only minor roles.
     Now that he had Petipa, Vsevolojsky tried to talk to Tchaikovsky again. Also, this time Vsevolojsky had a one-act opera to work with Tchaikovsky as well. This convinced Tchaikovsky to participate, because he loved the opera. Tchaikovsky completed the first draft of the score by July 7, 1891. The orchestration did not begin until January 1892 and took three months to finish. Tchaikovsky did not like the music after it was done and said that his heart was not into it at all. However, later he said that it grew on him and it was good.
     Petipa started his choreographing in August of 1892. He became sick and could not go on, therefore; his assistant Lev Ivano, took over. When it was finished, it was first performed on December 17, 1892 at the Maryinsky Theater. The Imperial Russian Ballet was the first to perform this ballet. The principal dancers were Antonietta dell’Era and Pavel Gerdt. A condensed one-act version was the first to be performed in the United States. It was done on October 17, 1940 in New York by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Alexandra Reforova staged this part of the ballet with principal dancers Alicia Markova and Andre Eglevsky.
     It seemed like no one believe in this ballet ever becoming a success. However, now when you say the word Nutcracker people associated it with the wonderful Christmas ballet. It is a ballet that many people, young and old, will cherish it forever.

Au, Susan. Ballet and Modern Dance. New York: Thames & Hudson Inc., 1988.
pg. 68.

Charles, Gerard . “THE NUTCRACKER HISTORY.” 14 Oct. 2004 .

Weinstock, Herbert. “Chronology of the Nutcracker.” Press Room. 14 Oct. 2004 .

Return to