As winter draws in and the nights get darker and darker, clouds of midwinter magic start to swirl, coaxing us out to play. There’s no surer way to sleigh ride you into a festive mood than by going to see ballets most famous winter offering: The Nutcracker.
For those not familiar with the story here’s a super brief version. It’s Christmas Eve and Clara’s Godfather Drosselmeyer brings Clara a beautiful wooden Nutcracker. She falls asleep with it in her arms and wakes up at midnight to a frightening scene. The toys have come to life and Clara’s Nutcracker is leading the soldier toys into battle against the Mouse Army. As the Nutcracker is cornered Clara throws her slipper at the Mouse King and helps defeat him. The Nutcracker turns into a handsome prince and he leads Clara through the moonlit night as snowflakes dance around them. They continue their journey to the Land of Sweets and meet the Sugar Plum Fairy who has been ruling the Land until the Prince’s return. In their honour a celebration of sweets from around the world is held with dancing and festivities. It ends with the famous Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Clara wakes up the next day with the Nutcracker still in her arms. Was it a dream…
Here’s an enchanting version of the Waltz of the Snowflakes by Royal Ballet with a beautifully graceful Clara:
There are some fun craft activities around to get your kids bubbling over with excitement about The Nutcracker. We like these colouring in characters from Pacific NorthWest Ballet and here’s some printable puppets too. We also have adorable Twinklesteps imagining she’s Clara for you to colour in here. If only she could imagine her bunny into a prince…
Don’t forget we have listings for performances of The Nutcracker shown on our Children’s Ballet Events page here. Let us know if you hear of any we need to add. Also, check out our shop for ballet goodies to get your ballerina’s imagination whirring.
Finally, here’s a lovely little clip from Pacific NorthWest Ballet showing young dancers auditioning for The Nutcracker. Worth a look for any budding ballet dancers out there wondering what an audition may be like:
We’d love to know what you think of The Nutcracker and which bits you like best. Let us know by commenting below 🙂
By the Twinkle Team