The Nutcracker Ballet

If there's one thing that gets us into the Festive Spirit, is is Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker".
This HD (1080P) video  covers the Nutcracker ballet in 2 acts. It was filmed at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg in December 2012

Valery Gergiev - conductor
Vasily Vainonen - choreography

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is a 2-act ballet with the score written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It premièred at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on Sunday, December 18, 1892.

The original performance was something of a flop, but from the sixties onward the complete Nutcracker has become incredibly popular at Christmas time, even more popular than the Santa Paws slot!

Tchaikovsky's score went on to become one of his most famous pieces of music.

The Plot

Act I

Scene 1: The Stahlbaum Home

The curtain rises to a Christmas Eve scene. Family and friend have come together to decorate a beautiful Christmas tree and the children are sent for. They admire the tree with its beautiful candles and decorations.

The party starts and a march is played. The children receive their present. All of a sudden, as the clock strikes 8 o'clock, a mysterious man appears-  Drosselmeyer, a magician from the village, and Clara's godfather. He has bought beautiful toys which he has made as gifts for the children. Among them are four dolls who come to life and dance to the delight of the watching children.

2 children, Clara and Fritz receive another gift from Drosselmeyer: a wooden nutcracker carved in the image os a little man. The other children pay no attention, but Clara loves it. Fritz, in a fit of jealousy breaks it and Clara becomes sad.

That night, Clara sneaks back downstairs to look in on her nutcracker. As she approached his little bed, the clock strikes 12  and she looks up- Drosselmeyer is sitting on top. Mice fill the room and the Christmas tree starts to grow and the nutcracker grows into a full grown man. Clara is stuck between an army of gingerbread soldiers fighting the mice.

The nutcracker takes the lead of the soldiers, and soon dolls and tin soldiers appear on the scene as doctors in the battlefield. The Mouse King attacks a wounded nutcracker, and Clara hits him with a throw from her slipper enabling the Nutcracker to stab him.

Scene 2: The Pine Forest

The mice run off and the Nutcracker becomes a handsome Prince. He takes Clara's hand in the moonlit night and leads her to a pine forest. Snowflakes swirl about as the first act ends.

Act II

Scene 1: The Land of Sweets

Clara and her Prince begin a voyage to the beautiful Land of Sweets, which is ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy.

In Clara's honour, there begins a celebration-  sweets from around the world are presented with chocolate from Spain, coffee from Arabia, and tea from China,  candy canes from Russia, The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier dance for their honoured guest.

All the sweets perform a final waltz and then the Sugar Plum Fairy leads Clara and her Prince into a reindeer drawn sleigh.