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The Nutcracker as a different story


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I apologize in advance if my post is not appropriate for this forum. Although I do not have any professional relation to ballet and music I happen to write a kind of libretto to the music of “The Nutcracker” which tells a completely different story. I would like to publish it here. The idea is put together in this document, including my try to write the exact sequence of scenes which would fit into the music https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z4zCKdE3FRboMXGgVxeShdY_sUfOvcWJG7XNLSe6k-k/edit?usp=sharing

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Dear Jan McNulty and Scheherezade,  thank you very much for the reply! This is in fact the first reply ever which I receive on my “libretto”, despite it was already posted on two other forums.

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Dear Sophoife, thank you for the reply and for the link! Unfortunately, I could not find from which year this production is. I have seen many versions of “The Nutcracker”, and I was indeed wondering why nobody had come up with an idea to revert the story of the young girl dreaming about adult life. 

 

At the same time, I see a number of things in their libretto which I intentionally tried to avoid. Close connection of the plot with a certain historic period may lead to unnecessary politization and distract from the essence of the story. Also, the main character is poor, lonely, and dies in the end - ‘formal overdramatization’. To be honest, for me this is a cheap trick to make the audience cry. On the opposite, I decided that the formal story must be as ordinary and banal as possible, but the audience will cry anyway. The connection to the original Hoffmann’s tail with the Nutcracker doll and mice also seems to be not absolutely necessary. 

 

(To avoid misunderstanding: what I wrote above must not be understood as criticism of this particular production!!! Which I haven’t seen and cannot evaluate!)

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Thanks for your comments Vladislav! 

 

The production was created in 1992 and is based in reality, in that a number of Ballets Russes members were stranded in Australia during the second World War, and some stayed and made lives and careers here, indeed after Pavlova's tours here in the 1920s sparked interest around the country, it was these refugees who created what we now have as ballet in Australia.

 

I have seen it every season it's been performed and the role of Clara the Elder is absolutely wonderful for an older (former) dancer. 

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It’s a pity that there are no long videos of this Australian production on the surface of the Web.  Only short trailers. There is, however, an interesting conversation with the choreographer Graeme Murphy. Among other things he says the following. “To me there is more to this than the original scenario the poor Tchaikovski had to rope demanded” ...  “The story in Nutcracker has always been a stumbling point, there is so little story, and that was one of my biggest problems when Manor asked me to do this production. I could not quite to come to terms with that story, and committing myself to doing my first full length ballet to something I could not quite believe in”.

 

I find that this 100% meets my opinion too! I often had a feeling that the music of “The Nutcracker” is much bigger than the sugar-toys fairy tail performed on stage.

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I had no idea that was there! And that's the original Clara the Elder, Dame Margaret Scott, with Steven Heathcote as the Beloved Officer, and Vicki Attard as Clara the Ballerina. Recorded in Sydney in 1994, with Clara's partner in the rose ballet-within-a-ballet David McAllister.

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