This story was written by Casey Kogut, Mike Ezepchick and Chris Porter.
When someone says “The Nutcracker Ballet,” you think of a Christmas time and holiday tradition. Though many know the name, not many know the actual story behind the Nutcracker Ballet. Let me take you on a journey through battles between giant mice and dances with Sugar Plum Fairies, and remind you what the Nutcracker Ballet is really all about.
The Nutcracker story has two versions. The original was deemed too unsettling, so it was remade into the performance that is known today. Act one begins at a Christmas party held at the Stahlbaum’s house. Siblings Clara and Fritz Stahlbaum are dancing and enjoying the party when their Godfather Drosselmeyer arrives with presents. It is then Clara receives her prized nutcracker doll. Fritz, jealous of his sister’s gift, snatches the doll from Clara and breaks it in a game of toss. The party dies down, and Clara falls asleep under the Christmas tree, comforting the broken Nutcracker in her arms.
At midnight, Clara wakes to find over-large mice dressed in army uniforms circling the room. The Nutcracker, now grown to human size, attempts to defeat the Mouse King. The Nutcracker was slowly losing to the king, and Clara made a desperate attempt to save him by throwing her shoe at the king’s head. This distracted him enough for the Nutcracker to defeat the Mouse King and claim the king’s crown in victory. Clara, exhausted and completely overwhelmed, falls onto the Nutcrackers bed, which eventually transforms into a magical sleigh. The Nutcracker places the crown upon Clara’s head, and transforms into a handsome prince. He convinces Clara to board the sleigh and take a ride in a snowy forest with him.
Act two begins with Clara and the Nutcracker Prince arriving in the Land of Sweets. It is here that they are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy, whom becomes impressed with their victory over the Mouse King. She throws the duo a lavish party with dancing hot cocoa, coffee, and cups of tea. Gingerbread children circle the ground, and flowers dance a beautiful waltz. To conclude, the Sugar Plum Fairy performs a breathtaking dance, leaving Clara reluctant for the night to end. As the party bids Clara and the Prince goodbye, Clara wishes the adventure would never end. The play ends with Clara awaking under the Christmas tree with the Nutcracker in her arms, and a crown still on top of her head.
The story warms the heart as is reminds us of a Christmas spirit we all wish we had. It is possible to get that feeling back again.
In fact, you have three chances to get that feeling back. The Danbury Orchestra will be performing The
Nutcracker Ballet at Danbury High School on Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets range from $10-$27 and are selling
out quickly. All members of the performance are volunteers, and all wish
to provide a little Christmas spirit to those who feel they’ve lost it.