Fraildove

Nutcracker

22 posts in this topic

Hi All,

One of our friends is a director of a ballet school in the US. We were comparing notes on Nutcracker, since between my husband, myself, and him we have staged hundreds of performances (i wish i was exagerating). So he showed us a clip of his latest production and included a variation that i have never seen, with music that I have never heard before. He said it was included in Tchaikovsky's original score, but as of yet I have not found it. Can anyone point me in the right direction??? Or is this not even true? Help!

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I love "off season" Nutcracker discussions...! :off topic:

Who dances this "missing" variation...?-(which character..?) Which act...?

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2nd act, supposidly one of the national candies... That's all I know actually. I was almost positive he said French, but that would be Marzipan... So not too sure.

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Sorry Fraildove, I cannot answer your question, but I am very interested to hear the responses...however

I love "off season" Nutcracker discussions...!

It is the beginning of Nutcracker season for those of us in the thick of things! :off topic:

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2nd act, supposidly one of the national candies... That's all I know actually. I was almost positive he said French, but that would be Marzipan... So not too sure.

Actually, the Marzipan variation is Danish. The original notation of the steps shows a lot of taqueterie and pirouettes one-on-pointe, double-on-demi, that recall how the Danes danced à la Bournonville. French, or maybe Belgian, might be Mother Ginger.

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Sorry Fraildove, I cannot answer your question, but I am very interested to hear the responses...however
I love "off season" Nutcracker discussions...!

It is the beginning of Nutcracker season for those of us in the thick of things! :off topic:

OMG...that's true...where the year went...? :thumbsup:

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Do we have to talk about it being Nutty season!!! We started our rehearsals last weekend, so for better or worse here we go!

That is really interesting about Marzipan. I have never seen the original notation, and the version I am most familiar with is the pas de trois that is done with students... A la Mariinsky. I know it is not mother Ginger Ashe uses that as well. Actually he uses the familiar score with all variations that are standard. Hmmm...

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Sometimes, choreographers mine other Tchaikovsky ballets or even operas to build up Nutz divertissements.

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That I have seen, and really dont like it. I am pretty familier with most other ballets, particularly with Tchaikovsky. And I have never heard this piece before. I also wondered if he maybe took it from somewhere else, because it didnt seem in keeping with the rest of the ballet (orchestration etc) which he played up to a bad recording since it is very hard to find. He was a classmate of my husband's in Kiev, and he said he obtained the recording from the opera theatre there. When we were there this summer and inquired about it, no one knew either... so the mystery continues.

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the variation nowadays associated with Marzipan is the "Dance of the Little Fifes," called in the original scheme as "Danse des mirlitons" sometimes known as "toy flutes" - Mark Morris certainly treats it as a French dance in THE HARD NUT - complete w/ baguettes and chic, prancing fashion model behavior. it's "Temps de polka" according to the notes in Wiley's TCHAIKOVSKY'S BALLETS

i don't know who first associated this w/ Marzipan, but certainly Balanchine did, since '54.

for the record Tchaikovsky's 'sweets' (or not) are in order:

Le chocolat

Le café

Le thé

[Trépak] no connection to a confection

[Mirlitons] again no connection to a sweatmeat

[Pas des 32 polichinelles et de la mère Gignone avec ses petits enfants qui sortent de la jupe]

an essay from a soviet ballet magazine about Petipa claims that the once was the intention to include a dance named for 'cream pastries' in the divertissement suite, but i've never heard anything else about this.

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an essay from a soviet ballet magazine about Petipa claims that the once was the intention to include a dance named for 'cream pastries' in the divertissement suite, but i've never heard anything else about this.

That's It! Cream pastries. Any idea if it was originally included in the score, or if it was performed in any Nutcracker around that period? :off topic:

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hmm... cream puffs, little clouds, angels... hmmm... I'd be grateful if something came up on this one... having something interesting to think about during Nut prep season would be a kindness...

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no, i added that as a footnote.

the music was never composed, to the best of my knowledge; the reference was in a essay on the early plans for NUTCRACKER, and if i recall correctly, the libretto soon changed to what we now know with no further ref. to this idea.

the list of numbers i indicated above indicates the only compositions that have been specifially associated with divertissement for THE NUTCTRACKER since its 1892 premiere.

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This is from Petipa's original libretto...(from Jack Anderson's "The Nutcracker Ballet)

Act II Divertissements

9-First Dance

Chocolate, Spanish Dance. 3/4 from 64 to 80 bars.

10-Second Dance

Coffee. Arabian. The Kingdom of Yemen. (Coffee Mocha)

Eastern Dance from 24 to 32 bars of cloying and bewitching music

11-Third Dance

Tea. allegretto of the Chinese type, little bells, etc: 48 bars.

12-Fourth Dance.

Trepak, for the end of the dance, turning on the floor.(Obrouchky)

Quick 2/4. 64 bars.

13-Fifth Dance.

Dance of the Flutes.

Tempo Polka, 64 to 90 bars. They dance, playing on little pipes made of reed, with bobbles on the ends.

14-Sixth Dance

Dance of the 32 Buffoons, with Mere Cigogne and her little children climbing out of her skirts and the head.

64 bars, 2/4 accentuaded rythm, not fast, which combines with 48 bars, 3/4 for the entrance of Mere Cigogne and her children jumping out of her skirt. Then 2/4 becoming much quicker, from 32 to 48 bars. At the end a group with Mere Cigogne in the middle of the Bufoons. A Grand Ballabile!

...then, Petipa's notes proceed with the Valse des Fleurs FOR 36 DANSEURS AND 36 DANSEUSES, dressed like flowers who carry a large bouquet and present it to the Prince and his Bride, followed by the Grand PDD-(complete with the two variations and Coda)-and the final Grandiose Andante.

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Incidentally, if you refer to an unabridged dictionary, you'll find that the definitions of "mirliton" include, after "a sort of small green string bean", "KAZOO". I, too, have heard about the "cream pastries" dream and scheme, but know of nothing that came from it. A failed plan for an act I divertissment at least produced that wheezy tarantella which is the male variation in the grand pas de deux.

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Hi Fraildove, I'm not sure if this helps, but the original score included a short number inserted in between The Chinese Dance (Tea) and the Trepak of Act 2. The number was composed by Tchaikovsky and it was to be called "Toffee" and was in the form of an English Jig. Todate, there is only one recording that I am aware of that has this variation included in the score---The Nutcracker (Complete Recording) John Lanchbery conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, issued on the MHS - Musical Heritage Society CD #MHS-522054X (2CDs). I have the recording and according to the booklet notes that comes with the set, it also states that the piece was removed after the first rehearsal as Petipa was not fond of it. The English Jig was also ommited from the published score, but able to be included in this recording thanks to its exsitance in a piano version. This piano version was orchestrated by Lanchbery. Hopes this helps. --Jos

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That is exactly it!!!! Thank you so much... I will say this again, I absolutly love this board and the wealth of information it's members poses!!!

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Hi Fraildove, I'm not sure if this helps, but the original score included a short number inserted in between The Chinese Dance (Tea) and the Trepak of Act 2. The number was composed by Tchaikovsky and it was to be called "Toffee" and was in the form of an English Jig. Todate, there is only one recording that I am aware of that has this variation included in the score---The Nutcracker (Complete Recording) John Lanchbery conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, issued on the MHS - Musical Heritage Society CD #MHS-522054X (2CDs). I have the recording and according to the booklet notes that comes with the set, it also states that the piece was removed after the first rehearsal as Petipa was not fond of it. The English Jig was also ommited from the published score, but able to be included in this recording thanks to its exsitance in a piano version. This piano version was orchestrated by Lanchbery. Hopes this helps. --Jos

Wow...I didn't know about the existence of this piece of music. Thank you! :clapping:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000TGVP18/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk11

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Rochester City Ballet uses this variation in its Nut production. They call it English Toffee, and the choreography is not a jig at all, but mostly jumps and turns on the diagonal. The variation is for a single female, and the costume used to be a dark green velvet riding-style jacket/short skirt combo, with a white ruffled blouse with high collar, a feathered cap, and riding crop as a prop. The costume was remade a few years ago using navy and peach colors, in the same style. The dancer uses the crop with a whipping motion and also as a means to hold a hand at each end either in front of her or overhead during turns.

The variation is short but the music and choreography are exciting. It is always a crowd-pleaser.

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