How to play dance of the sugar plum fairy on piano
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15-Minute Music Lesson of "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
As the holidays approach, many families find themselves listening to holiday music on the radio or streaming it online. This is a great way to get into the holiday spirit! However, have you ever stopped to think about what your children are actually hearing when they listen to these songs? If you’re looking for a way to help your child appreciate holiday music more, why not try a simple music lesson on one of the most popular holiday songs? Today, we’ll be doing a 15-Minute Music Lesson of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker.
“Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” is one of the most iconic and well-loved pieces of music from Tchaikovsky’s ballet. Today, we will be discussing the history of the composition, as well as some of the key musical elements present in “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”. By the end of this lesson, students should have a better understanding of this classic piece of music and be able to identify some of the different instruments used.
Scroll down for an Awesome Christmas Blessings Cash Giveaway!The History and Story of The Nutcracker
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” was written in 1892 as part of Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker. The ballet was first performed in Russia in 1892 and was not initially well-received by audiences. However, it has since become one of the most popular ballets in the world, with regular performances taking place all over the globe during the festive holiday season.
The Sugar Plum Fairy is a character from the story. The ballet is based on a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann called The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. In the story, a young girl named Marie is given a nutcracker doll by her godfather, Drosselmeyer. Marie falls asleep with the doll and has a dream in which she and the now-alive Nutcracker Prince defeat an army of mice led by the Mouse King. After defeating the mice, Marie is transported to a magical kingdom where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy.How the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” is Performed
In addition to hearing “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” as part of The Nutcracker ballet, it is also often performed as a standalone work. It might be played on solo piano or as an orchestral work.Musical Elements
“Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” is written in 4/4 time. It has a light and delicate feel to it, which reflects the fairy character for whom it is named. One of the most distinctive features of this piece is its use of pizzicato throughout, which gives it a ‘plucked’ sound. This effect is created by plucking the strings of the violin instead of using a bow.
The light and delicate instrument you hear throughout is the celesta. It looks like a piano but sounds like bells.What is a Celesta?
A celesta is a musical instrument in the percussion family. It is similar to a piano in that it has a keyboard of black and white keys that is used to play different notes. The keys are connected to hammers that strike metal plates which create the unique sound of the celesta. In the piano, felt hammers strike a string instead. The celesta gets its name from the Greek word for “heaven,” and it’s easy to see why once you hear it play. The sound of the celesta is truly ethereal.
The celesta was invented in 1886 by French engineer Auguste Mustel. It was originally intended to be used as a solo instrument, but it soon became popular in orchestras and other large ensembles.
One of the most notable features of the celesta is its small size. The instrument is only about two feet wide and three feet tall, making it one of the smallest keyboard instruments. The celesta has been used in compositions by many famous composers, including Tchaikovsky (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy), Holst (Neptune), Bartok (Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta), John Williams (Hedwig’s Theme), and Prokofiev (Romeo and Juliet). It’s also been used in jazz and rock songs, such as “Everyday” by Buddy Holly, “Baby It’s You” as recorded by The Beatles, and “Girl Don’t Tell Me” by The Beach Boys.Listen to “The Sugar Plum Fairy” and see the Celesta here:Watch “The Sugar Plum Fairy” performed here:An Acapella Sung Version of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”
Now, listen to Pentatonix sing the song without using any instruments!Download “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” Printables here:Conclusion
I hope you have enjoyed this elementary 15-Minute Music Lesson on Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from The Nutcracker. This piece is truly a classic and we hope that after learning about its history and musical elements, you have gained a greater appreciation for it. If you would like to learn more about Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker, please check out the Round-up of the Top Nutcracker Resources for Your Homeschool!
Related 15-Minute Music Lessons of Christmas Songs
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- Free 15-Minute Music Lesson on “Carol of the Bells”
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"Dance of the Dragee Fairy" from Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nutcracker""Dance of the Dragee Fairy"
It is difficult to imagine the New Year period without music from Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nutcracker". Whatever fragment you choose, you will almost certainly hit. Whether it's a march, Waltz of snowflakes or Waltz of flowers, Chinese dance or Trepak. But still, the Dance of the Dragee Fairy occupies a special place.
When a crystal melody is heard, one wants to slow down the breath a little and make it quieter. If only by all means to keep the atmosphere of magic and not frighten her away. In one popular advertisement, red and yellow chocolate jelly beans tiptoe to the fireplace at night to catch Santa Claus. This is a foretaste of meeting with the holiday, when the gifts have not yet been opened. Similar feelings are given by the Dance of the Fairy Dragee. nine0003
Pyotr Ilyich created The Nutcracker almost in pain. In the letters he complains that nothing sensible comes out. And the plot itself seems to the composer frivolous and too childish.
Get rid of the ballet - that's what the classic wanted! It is impossible to get distracted and find inspiration even in France. However, the spring trip of 1891 was fateful, without it, no Dance of the Pellet Fairy would have happened. It was in Paris that Tchaikovsky heard the sound of the instrument that was to become the main character at the upcoming premiere. nine0003
“I discovered in Paris a new orchestral instrument with a divinely wonderful sound… I would like it not to be shown to anyone”,
— the composer writes to the music publisher Petr Ivanovich Yurgenson, who soon ordered this instrument from the capital of France. But Tchaikovsky is relentless:
"For God's sake, keep in mind that no one but me should hear the sounds of this wonderful instrument."
The regime of secrecy was justified: what if Rimsky-Korsakov or Glazunov find out about the instrument! In a word, almost an arms race, but in an orchestra. nine0003
On the premiere day in December 1892, St. Petersburg gathers at the Mariinsky Theater to see a Christmas performance. Tchaikovsky himself looked at the stage with difficulty: the costumes and scenery seemed clumsy to the composer. He also worried about the music, which critics will react ambiguously. But the former at the premiere remembered the sound of the secret instrument for sure.
The Nutcracker ballet - the history of creation and performances
Closer to the climax of the ballet, the Dance of the Dragee Fairy begins, and the audience is perplexed, because no one has heard such a sound before. In the orchestra pit is a wooden box that looks like a small piano, which makes amazing sounds of crystal chime. It was a heavenly and delicate celesta - a keyboard instrument with metal plates. Celesta became the main character that evening. nine0003
Tchaikovsky won the arms race and linked the celesta forever with a halo of celebration and magic.
As is well known, in the very first production of The Nutcracker (1892), after all the repetitive and battles with mice, as well as overcoming the snow-covered forest, Clara and the prince found themselves in the realm of sweets - Confiturenburg, where fountains of currant syrup and lemonade beat, and They were greeted by the Dragee Fairy (the mistress of Confiturenburg), Prince Whooping cough (her cavalier), as well as various sweets - sweets, petit fours, macaroons, etc. Hoffmann had a similar magical land, where Konfetenburg (-hausen) appears, and Dumas père (where there is Varenenburg). nine0003
In the end, it was the Dragee Fairy and Prince Whooping Cough who closed the ballet - at the end they performed the pas de deux. It is danced by Masha and the Nutcracker Prince in modern Russian productions.
However, neither Hoffmann nor Dumas have any Fairy Dragees. Where did she come from and why does she have such a name? Why weren't some von Warenenburg sisters greeted Clara and the prince, as in Dumas' arrangement, for example?
The Nutcracker and its author: facts not too well known, but remarkable
One of the aspects of the answer is obvious - we just needed a spectacular, including a duet, number for a foreign ballerina-star and a partner, because before that there was not a single classical dance in the performance (the first act is mainly pantomime, the second is a divertissement from characteristic dances). This number did not correlate in any way with the plot, and this was one of the points for which the first "Nutcracker" was criticized, and which, among other things, prevented Lev Ivanov and Pyotr Tchaikovsky from fully relating the music and choreography. nine0003
At the premiere, the Dragee Fairy was danced by Italian Antonietta Del'Era. The public was looking forward to her release - she had already come to Russia at the end of 1886-1887, and her dances received many laudatory reviews. Then, however, she limited herself to the scenes of private theaters, but the second entry - immediately to the Mariinsky Theater - seriously provoked the St. Petersburg balletomanes.
Del'Era was a virtuoso ballerina who was remembered for her 16th fouette (at that time no one else was doing it on the Russian stage), as well as for her pointe technique - she could stand on the toe of one foot in attitude for many seconds with virtually no support from her partner . nine0003 Antonietta Del'Era
That is, it doesn't make much sense at first glance. More precisely, it is purely practical - you just had to bring in a star ballerina to demonstrate her brilliant technical capabilities, which has already been done more than once in relation to other Italian ballerinas, who were much stronger in technical terms than domestic ballerinas. Not particularly at the same time correlating the invented choreography with the music and the plot. The solution is rather artificial.
But why give the heroine the name Dragee? Firstly, obviously in order to continue the “sweet” logic of the second act. Second…
On January 30, 1934, the very first performance of The Nutcracker in the West took place at the Sadler's Wells Theater in London. According to the poster, Sugar Plum Fairy danced in the pas de deux - that is, literally translated, the Sugar Plum Fairy (danced by Alicia Markova). And to this day in many Western productions (USA, UK) you will see this name on the posters. That is, the Fairy Dragee was renamed in the West. Or not? And what about plums?
Sugar Plum (sugar plum) is an obsolete term used in 17-19century in English precisely to refer to what we call “draggers” - small round (or oval) sweets. And these sweets could not necessarily be plum - just in ancient times they were quite large and resembled the shape and size of a plum.
Therefore, there are no discrepancies between our Dragee Fairy and its American-English analogue - we are talking about dragees, not plums.
But the term Sugar Plum is not limited to sweet overtones and has many other meanings. In addition to the actual “sugar plum” and “jelly beans”, these are:
- Flattery. There was such an expression: “Your mouth is full of sugar plums”, meaning the flattery of the interlocutor.
- Bribe. The expression “To fill someone else's mouth with sugar plum” meant “to give a bribe”.
- In the 18th century, Sugar Plum was a slang term for 100 pounds. a lot of money. Someone who was rich was called a "plum".
- Later, in the 19th century, "sugar plum" denoted a particularly desired thing, a prize, a place of work or a successful appointment.
- Finally, seeing the dragee fairy dancing meant a happy dream. nine0066
Thus, in Clement Clarke Moore's 1823 poem "The Night Before Christmas" there are lines:
The children were nestled all snug in their beds translate: The children were carefully placed in their beds while visions of sugar plums danced in their thoughts.
…Children in their beds are like birds in a nest.
Close your eyes. Lie down on pillows. nine0080 They dream of sweets…
So, we can conclude that sugar plum in particular is a kind of generalized synonym for something desired.
The presence of a fairy in a ballet was not something special for those times - what are only 6 fairies in Sleeping Beauty staged 2 years before The Nutcracker. But exactly what the creators of The Nutcracker had in mind when introducing this character into the ballet will remain a mystery, unless one finds some exact, documentary evidence of the authors of the libretto (either Marius Petipa, or Ivan Vsevolozhsky, or both) about their idea. nine0003
One could probably say that this is a symbol of Clara’s (Marie) happy dream, if not for one “but” - neither the libretto of the original production, nor both choreographers’ plans, nor the violin tutors, nor the well-known descriptions of Ivanov’s first production contain an indication to the fact that Clara is sleeping, and the journey to Confiturenburg is a dream. That is, as in Hoffmann, reality intertwined with the fictional world there.
The Pellet Fairy disappeared from Russian productions in 1924 (not entirely, but more on that later), when Lev Ivanov's original left the stage. At 19In 1919, Alexander Gorsky staged his The Nutcracker at the Bolshoi Theatre. His main character was again called Clara, and her party combined both the party of little Clara and the classical dances of the Dragee Fairy from Ivanov's original production. It was Clara who danced the adagio with the Nutcracker (which, in turn, was joined by the part of Prince Whooping Cough), and then the variations. That is, Gorsky became the first choreographer who led Clara through the entire performance.
As for the name Masha, it appears for the first time in The Nutcracker by Fyodor Lopukhov 1929 years old
A fairy tale told at night
But the Sugar Plum Fairy has taken root in Anglo-Saxon productions. That was the name of the heroine who danced the pas de deux, both in 1934 in the production of Sadler’s Wells, and in 1944 in San Francisco (the first Nutcracker in the USA), and in February 1954 in the famous production of New York City Balle by George Balanchine. That is also the name of Peter Wright, whose production is at the Covent Garden Theatre.
In many European countries, she is called either the “sugar fairy” (“Tanz der Zuckerfee” in Germany and Austria, “Danza del Hada de Azúcar” in Spain and Latin American countries, “Dança da Fada Açucarada” in Portugal and Brazil ), or, again, the Dragee Fairy (“Danza della Fata Confetto” in Italy, “Danse de la Fée Dragée” in France). nine0003
Based on the materials of radio “Orpheus” and “About ballet and not only”
On this topic:
The Nutcracker is a classical ballet in two acts. It is based on E.T.A. Hoffman's fairy tale "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" from 1816. It tells the story of a little girl who goes to the Land of Sweets on Christmas Eve. Ivan Vsevolozhsky and Mari Petipa adapted Hoffmann's story for the ballet Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote the music Mari Petipa and Lev Ivanov designed the dances The Nutcracker was first performed at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg on December 18, 1892 with modest success and rarely seen in subsequent years. interest in ballet grew when George Balanchine's film The Nutcracker was shown on television in the late 1950s. ". This work was a great success on the concert stage and is performed to this day.
The origins of The Nutcracker are rooted in the great success of the Sleeping Beauty ballet. This ballet was staged at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg in 1890. It was the work of the director of the Imperial Theaters in St. Petersburg Ivan Vsevolozhsky, the composer Tchaikovsky and the choreographer Marius Petipa. Vsevolozhsky believed that another ballet based on a children's story would be as successful as Sleeping Beauty .
He chose Hoffmann's 1816 fairy tale "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" as the theme for the new ballet. This story was loved by the Russians. He wrote an adaptation of Hoffmann's story based on a translation by Alexandre Dumas. He dropped most of the original. Petipa adapted Vsevolozsky's story to the requirements of the ballet. Vsevolozsky then pressured Tchaikovsky to compose music for the ballet. Tchaikovsky did not like Hoffmann's adaptation of the story, but agreed to compose the music.
Petipa designed the dances. He gave Tchaikovsky specific instructions on how the music should be written. For example, he wanted to get a magnificent crescendo of 48 bars, as in the first act the tree rose higher and higher. He wrote that the music for "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" should sound like drops of water splashing in a fountain. nine0003
In March 1892 the music was almost finished. Tchaikovsky took "Dance of the Sugar Plum", "Waltz of the Flowers" and other numbers from the ballet to form the 20-minute Nutcracker Suite. It was first performed for the Russian Musical Society. Members of the organization liked her. The Nutcracker Suite still sounds today.
Tchaikovsky completed the music for the ballet in April 1892. Rehearsals began in September 1892. Petipa fell ill, and his assistant Lev Ivanov finished the dance. The ballet was shown for the first time on December 18, 1892 years on the stage of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg. Tchaikovsky's one-act opera Iolanthe was performed before the curtain went up on The Nutcracker . The run ended in January 1893 after eleven performances.
Title of the translation page of Alexandre Dumas with Clara, Fritz and Drosselmeyer. The ballet was based on this translation.
In 1919 choreographer Alexander Gorsky staged the production. He carved the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier and presented their dances to Clara and the Nutcracker Prince. Now they were played by adults, not children. A shortened version of the ballet was first shown outside of Russia at the Budapest Royal Opera at 1927 year.
In 1934, the choreographer of the ballet. Kirov Vasily Vainonen staged a version of the work, which was also influenced by critics of the original production. He also directed adult dancers in the roles of Klara and the Prince, just as Gorsky had done. Vainonen's version has influenced several subsequent productions. Knowledge of choreography spread due to the fact that after the Russian Revolution, many dancers left for the west.
The first full performance outside of Russia took place at 1934 in England. It was staged by Nikolai Sergeev on the stage of the Vic-Wells ballet. A version of Petipa's original choreography is used. Annual ballet performances have been held here since 1952.
The ballet takes place in Germany at the beginning of the 19th century. On Christmas Eve, the curtain rises in the Silberghaus house. Guests arrive. Children receive gifts, dance around the hall.
The door opens. A strange little man named Drosselmeyer enters the room. He is a toy maker. He is also the godfather of Clara Silberhaus. He has four dance dolls for the kids and a special surprise for Clara. This is the Nutcracker. She likes it, but her brother Fritz breaks it. She puts the Nutcracker in her doll bed to get better. nine0003
The party ends and everyone leaves. Clara and her family go to bed. Clara returns to the room. She must be sure that her Nutcracker is resting calmly. Suddenly mice start running around the room. Dolls, tin soldiers and all other toys come to life to fight mice.
The Christmas tree is getting higher and higher. The Nutcracker jumps out of the doll's bed to fight the Mouse King. When the Nutcracker is in danger, Clara saves his life by throwing her slipper at the Mouse King. The mouse king runs out of the room with the rest of the mice. nine0003
The Nutcracker becomes a human prince. Clara and the Nutcracker Prince travel through the snow-covered forest to the magical Land of Sweets. The beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy rules this land. She greets the two children and then orders her subjects to dance for them. Dances about Coffee, Tea and Chocolate are presented. Many other dances are presented. The ballet ends with everyone dancing the waltz.
Mari Petipa wrote the libretto for the ballet and designed the dances.
b. Coffee (Arabian dance)
c. Tea (Chinese dance)
d. Trepak (Russian dance)
e. Reed Trumpet Dance
f. Mother Zhigon and clowns ...
- No. 13 Waltz flowers
- No.14 PAS de Deux (sugar plum fairy and Prince Kokkelush)No. Reception
Criticism of the ballet was mixed. Part considered it a noble composition, with exemplary themes and emotions, no matter how many might think otherwise. Russian choreographers liked experienced adult dancers, and the large children's cast was criticized. One person complained that the ballet was "staged with children for children." Even adult dancers came under fire. One person, for example, thought that the dancer who played the puppet in the first act was "cute," while another thought she was "sharp." nine0003
One critic complained that the ballet had bad taste because the characters in the second act looked like candy store food. Another complained that Ivanov's Waltz of the Snowflakes was taken from Petipa's ballets. However, Tchaikovsky thought the production was very beautiful, so much so that his eyes got tired of looking at it.
Some were surprised that Tchaikovsky had something to do with ballet. They thought Nutcracker was stupid. They were ashamed that the great composer had a hand in this. However, on the very first evening, Tsar Alexander III called Tchaikovsky in the royal box to congratulate him on his music. nine0003
Newspapers were divided according to the cost of the ballet. Petersburg newspaper wrote that "this ballet is the most tiring thing I've ever seen . .. far from what ballet music should be." Peterburgskaya gaz eta wrote: "It's hard to say which number is the biggest, because everything is perfect from beginning to end." In Novy Vek they wrote that Tchaikovsky's orchestral work was the work of a genius. The ballet lover considered The Nutcracker the greatest of the three ballets written by Tchaikovsky. nine0003
The Nutcracker was first staged in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, Russia. This photo shows the theater before 1917.
Russian revolution, many ballet dancers were incapacitated. They went to Europe. They talked with their new friends in Europe about The Nutcracker . Some selections were performed here and there. In 1940, Walt Disney used some of the music in his film" Fantasy". At 19'44 The Nutcracker was staged at the San Francisco Ballet by William Christensen , "the very first feature-length" film on Christmas Eve. William Christensen has been called the grandfather of the American Ballet and was born (1902-2001) in Brigham City, Utah. He founded the San Francisco Ballet in 1938. He later founded the University of Utah Ballet Department in 1951, the first of its kind, and in 1963 the Western University Ballet Department. In the 2019-2020 season he is 75 years old. At 1954 George Balanchine staged The Nutcracker in New York. People liked it. When it was shown on television in 1957 and 1958, the ballet became more famous than ever. Balanchine's The Nutcracker TV amused enough people who didn't see the ballet in it and danced enough in it to please the ballet lovers who watched it. In the 1960s, small ballet companies began producing The Nutcracker , because it could make a lot of money and thus keep the company in business. nine0003
Today " The Nutcracker" was staged and seen by many people around the world. Jennifer Fischer notes that it is "the most popular and most frequently [staged] ballet in the world. " In North America it is an annual event in many places. Parents and children take part in the production of the ballet and dance in it. Trained ballerinas dance side by side with children who are just learning to dance. Parents are working on costumes and scenery. Local celebrities perform small parts for walks. nine0003
The ballet has been adapted in many ways over the years. In the United States, for example, there are hula, tap, reggae, wheelchair, dance, ice and drag versions. In Canada, hockey adaptations. Products such as Nutcracker dolls, soap, food and clothing are sold in theaters before the show.
Ballet lovers question the modernity of The Nutcracker to make it accessible to the masses. The reasons ballet was initially disliked in Russia (lots of child dancers, uneven story) seem to be the reason why ballet became such a big success in North America. Americans love to see their children on stage and the story is very similar to the rags that Americans love. Although some complain about the stereotypes of children in the 1st act (boys are naughty, the girls are good), as well as the stereotypes of Arabs and Chinese in the 2nd act. nine0003
At the first performance, seventeen-year-old Sergei Legat acted as the Nutcracker, twelve-year-old Stanislava Stanislavovna Belinskaya as Clara, and an unidentified child as the Gingerbread Man.
Tchaikovsky wrote The Nutcracker for an orchestra of strings, woodwinds, wind and percussion instruments. To this orchestra he added the sky for the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in Act 2 and children's instruments - drums, trumpets, cymbals, birds calling, whistles and a rattle for the Christmas party in Act 1. The instruments were specially ordered and tuned to Tchaikovsky's order. A rattling sound is heard in the orchestra pit when Fritz cracks nuts in the first act, and the rest of the instruments are heard when the boys make a lot of noise while Clara calms down the broken Nutcracker. nine0003
Tchaikovsky hoped that the children would play instruments on stage, but it was difficult for them to stick together with the orchestra. Due to the difficulties the children faced, Tchaikovsky decided that they could play freely. He didn't ask them to stick to the written music. After the first evening, Tchaikovsky sent thanks and baskets of sweets to the children of the Imperial Ballet School.
Sugar Plum Fairy
Sugar Plum Fairy - character Nutcracker . The Sugar Plum Fairy only dances in the second act of the ballet. Clara falls asleep, and in the second act, Clara's dream can be seen. Roland John Wylie, however, believes that the second act is the reality shaped by Drosselmeyer. The Sugar Plum Fairy is the ruler of the Land of Sweets. She welcomes the Nutcracker Prince and his love Clara to her country and orders holidays. The character dances prima ballerina (head dancer), although she has few dances. At the end of the ballet, a male pas de deux dancer joins her. Her number in this is pas de deux is called "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy".
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
(Left) Sketch from 1892 "Sweetland", Sugar Plum House.
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The Sugar Plum Dance is one of the most famous numbers in The Nutcracker . It was written for Celeste's . This instrument was new at the time the dance was written. It looks like a small piano, but it sounds like bells.Tchaikovsky discovered bride in Paris in 1891 while traveling in the U.S. His publisher bought it and promised to keep the purchase a secret. Tchaikovsky didn't want Rimsky-Korsakov or Glazunov to "sniff it out and...use it" for unusual (different, strange) effects in front of me." Petipa wanted the music of the Sugar Plum Fairy to sound like drops of water splashing into a fountain. Tchaikovsky thought that the instrument for this was heaven . The original steps for the dance are unknown. Antonietta Del'Era was the first to sing the part of the Sugar Plum. For this, the character dances very little, so Dell'era put Alphonse Chibulka's gavotte into the ballet. Then she got something else.
In his biography of Tchaikovsky, John Warrack notes that the greatest weakness of ballet is its history. This did not allow Tchaikovsky to musically develop the ballet in the manner of "Swan Lake" or "Sleeping Beauty" . The few symphonic passages that exist in the ballet (mostly in the first act) are not the best that Tchaikovsky wrote. Varrak believes that the "essential nature" of the ballet is found in individual numbers. Tchaikovsky knew this when he assembled Nutcracker Suite to promote the complete ballet. Since the plot was so weak and did not allow for symphonic development, Tchaikovsky indulged his taste in "fancy" in individual numbers. This is exactly what Nutcracker does is, according to Wark, "the entertainment of a genius".
In his biography of Tchaikovsky , writer David Brown notes that Tchaikovsky was dissatisfied with The Nutcracker and complained to his friends about the difficulty of setting the plot to music. Brown asks why Tchaikovsky would ever allow himself to take this story as a subject for a ballet. He notes that Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty were "dramatically meaty and deeply serious", while Nutcracker - "banal ...". [and] pointless." The ballet has no real climax, which he writes. Then he asks, "What was that anyway? The Nutcracker is meaningless in the deepest sense." He decides that the ballet is "the most inconsequential" of all the composer's mature works for the theatre, and "its dramatic structure is the least satisfactory". that Tchaikovsky did an admirable job despite the "appalling limitations of the plot".
The Sugar Plum Fairy and her cavalier take their bows at the Royal Ballet.
Questions and AnswersQ: What is the Nutcracker?
A: The Nutcracker is a classical ballet in two acts based on the fairy tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" 1816.
Q: Who wrote the plot for the ballet?
A: Ivan Vsevolozhsky and Marius Petipa adapted Hoffmann's fairy tale for ballet.
Q: Who wrote the music for it?
A: The music for The Nutcracker was written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. nine0003
Q: Who created the dances?
A: Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov choreographed dances for The Nutcracker.
Q: When was it first delivered?
A: The Nutcracker was first performed at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 18, 1892 with modest success and was rarely seen in subsequent years.