The Nutcracker is a time-honored story originally written by E. T. A. Hoffman in 1816. He called it "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". Authored as a short story it has been adapted into an opera and two movies. Alexander Dumus adapted the story to stage and Tchaikovsky composed the music. The original choreography was done by Marius Petipa. It's premiere in 1892 came one week afore Christmas in Russia.
In 1934, it was performed in Great Britain and it came to the U.S.A. in 1944.
In the opening act, the house is festooned with mistletoe, stockings, wreaths and such. The Stahlbaum family has a party. They dance jubilantly. A toymaker arrives and gives the children gifts. Clara receives a Nutcracker, her sibling Fritz grabs her gift and starts a game of keep away with the other boys. The Nutcracker is mangled, but Drosselmeyer, the godfather, repairs the toy.
The party ends and Clara goes to sleep with the nutcracker beneath the Christmas tree. At midnight the toys come alive and become bigger. The Nutcracker battles the Mouse King. Clara defeats the mouse King with her slipper, and his army takes him away.
Then the illusion begins when Clara falls onto the Nutcracker's bed. He comes to life as a real prince. The bed becomes a sleigh.
They go through a forest and snowflakes become dancing maidens. They end up in the Land of Sweets and meet the Sugarplum Fairy. When she hears their story, she is galvanized and brings them into the Candy Castle and throws a extravagant party for them. They see flowers dancing and dewdrops floating overhead. The Sugarplum Fairy and a Cavalier dance in the middle of the great room.
Next, everyone gathers in the court and tells Clara and the Nutcracker goodbye. She says to the Nutcracker that she doesn't want this experience to end. He tells her that it won't end for her because she has the heart to envision it.
It became a movie in 1986 and another movie version came out in 1993. The Mobile Ballet will present this classic story on 12/ 15/13.
Kurt Adler 16-Inch Wooden and Polyresin Gingerbread Nutcracker