The dance of the sugar plum fairy, as well as the Spanish, Arabian, Chinese and Russian dances has lightened our Christmases for many years. All of these are scenes from possibly the most famous of ballets, “The Nutcracker.”
“The Nutcracker” is an adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s short story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” The score was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and was premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892. Although this two-act ballet has been around for more than one hundred years, it was not a success until the late 1960s. Today, numerous ballet companies perform it during the Christmas season.
The story develops on Christmas Eve when Clara and Fritz’s family hosts a party to decorate the most beautiful Christmas tree imaginable. As the party progresses, the children’s godfather Drosselmeyer, who is also a talented magician and toymaker, arrives and brings gifts to the children. The gift he brings to Fritz is nice, but it doesn’t come close to Clara’s beautiful nutcracker. Fritz quickly becomes jealous of her sister and breaks the Nutcracker. Thankfully, Drosselmeyer is there to immediately repair it.
As the night continues and the guests depart, Clara continues to be worried about her nutcracker, but she manages to sneak back to the tree to make sure he is doing fine. She eventually falls asleep with him in her arms. As the clock strikes midnight, the most amazing thing begins to happen. The toys around Clara, including the Nutcracker, come to life. The room fills with an army of mice led by the evil Mouse King. The Mouse King and the Nutcracker begin to battle one another, but the Nutcracker seems to be no rival for the Mouse King. Clara comes to the rescue and throws her slipper at the Mouse King who then falls to the floor lifeless.
The Nutcracker in return turns into a Prince and takes Clara on an amazing journey through the Land of Snowflakes and the Kingdom of Sweets. The Prince and Clara arrive to the Kingdom of Sweets where the Sugar Plum Fairy greets them. The Prince tells the Fairy about their war against the Mouse King, and she rewards them with a celebration of many dances. The Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier come to dance as the Prince and Clara wave goodbye.
The San Antonio Ballet Company, in collaboration with the San Antonio Orchestra, will present “The Nutcracker” in the Majestic Theatre, Nov. 23 – 25 and Nov. 30 – Dec. 2. Tickets run from $26 to $40. Join the San Antonio Ballet Company for an unforgettable experience this holiday season.