The Nutcracker and the Sugarplum Fairy Dancers: Sam Colbey and Mahomi Endoh / All Photos: Damian Siqueiros / zetaproduction The Nutcracker – December 10-30, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier LiveEvents December 5, 2016 3449 Les Grands Ballets Canadiens presents The Nutcracker With Les Grands Ballets Orchestra The entire family happily gathers to celebrate Christmas Eve. As the gifts are handed out to the children, the mysterious Doctor Drosselmeyer offers a beautiful nutcracker to his niece, Clara. During the night, while the young girl lies sound asleep next to her toy, mice and rats invade the room and battle an army of toy soldiers. Clara’s nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince and leads her into an enchanting, fairy-tale world. A holiday classic, a touch of magic that has enthralled Montreal audiences for over 50 years! Enter Clara’s warm and welcoming home, laugh at the buffoonery of the King of Sweets, and be swept away by Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. Pure Enchantment! Synopsis Act IIt is Christmas Eve and Councillor von Stahlbaum is giving a party for his children, Clara and Fritz, and their friends. Among the guests is Clara’s godfather, Doctor Drosselmeyer, who is said to have magical powers. He gives Clara a nutcracker as a present. Clara also receives a pair of magical shoes from her grandparents. Jealous, Fritz breaks his sister’s nutcracker, which is hastily repaired by Doctor Drosselmeyer. Everybody dances around the Christmas tree and the nutcracker, and the evening ends on a happy note. When the party is over and everyone has gone to sleep, Clara goes downstairs to the living room and falls asleep with the nutcracker. Mice and rats invade the room and engage in a battle against tin soldiers. Suddenly, Clara is overpowered by the rodents, and the Nutcracker, brought to life by Doctor Drosselmeyer, comes to her rescue. The Nutcracker is almost killed by the King of the Rats in the ensuing duel but Clara ends the battle when she throws her magic shoe at the King of the Rats and hits him on the head. As a reward for Clara’s courage, Doctor Drosselmeyer transforms the Nutcracker into a handsome Prince, who takes Clara to the Land of Snow. There, she dances with the Snowflakes, and the Prince then takes her to visit the Kingdom of Sweets.Act II Clara and her Prince are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Knight. The Prince tells everyone how Clara saved his life. A big party is held in her honour during which she is presented with the most wonderful sweets and is entertained by delightful characters, ending with a beautiful pas de deux. After dancing for her, the Sugar Plum Fairy reminds Clara that she must return. A golden-winged swan appears and takes Clara home. Tchaïkovsky and the creation of The Nutcracker Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Russia in 1840. He composed several masterpieces, including Swan Lake (1876) and Eugene Onegin (1878), becoming famous for the richness of his harmonies and soaring melodies. He is universally regarded as one of the greatest Romantic composers. After the success of Sleeping Beauty (1890), the Mariinsky Theatre decided to add another full-length ballet to its repertoire and commissioned a collaboration between Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa. Petipa based his libretto for The Nutcracker on Alexandre Dumas’ French version of a tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Tchaikovsky wrote parts of the work in the United States, where he had been invited to conduct at the opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891. After returning home, he had an assortment of drums, trumpets and children’s toys brought in from abroad. In the Variations of the Sugar Plum Fairy, he also introduced the celesta, a new instrument at the time. Petipa fell ill and was replaced by his assistant, Lev Ivanov, who finalized the choreography, creating wonderfully inventive characters and scenes for the ballet. The dances in the first-act party, the behaviour of the real children, the portrayal of the wind-up dolls, the battle scene between the tin soldiers and the rats, the marvellous idea of the snowflakes, and the classic beauty of the pas de deux are among the elements that continue to make The Nutcracker such an enduring masterpiece. The ballet’s success also certainly owes much to Tchaikovsky’s brilliant score, which perfectly captures the world of dreams of Clara, the young heroine. For tickets and information: www.laplacedesarts.com 514-842-2112 or 1-866-842-2112 For more information on Les Grands Ballets Canadiens please visit : grandsballets.com/en/ Related
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