Posted 22 December 2012 - 11:37 PM
Unfortunately, the TV show won't help. In theory, Balanchine's original PDD should be very close to what we see today without the Cavalier's solo, because there are no other major revision notes, except for the slide -- the Sugar Plum Fairy puts her point on a slide mechanism and is dragged along in arabesque -- which had been a balance in place. I think it's safe to presume that because he preferred the Sugar Plum Fairy variation at the beginning of the act, it made little sense to have just a Cavalier solo or to find some other less famous music to interpolate for another solo, but the act is long enough as it is. Maria Tallchief described the first "Nutcracker" and how stressful it was to, having danced nothing until then, hear the shouts and ovation for Tanaquil Leclerq's Dewdrop, wondering if the PDD would equal it. (It did.) Perhaps this, plus Balanchine's designation of her partner as a Cavalier, not a Prince, made it an easy decision not to give him a solo outside the brief one in the coda. I find the solo in the beginning to be very gracious.
I wrote "should," be very close, because there was at least one significant change in the Sugar Plum Fairy variation. Kyra Nichols performed the original in one performance I saw, where instead of moving turns, she did quarter turns in place, like hitting compass points.
Kent Stowell also uses a similar format, except the man is the Nutcracker Prince, and he gets his solo, too, at the beginning of the second act. The adagio goes straight intothe coda, and the kids in the Dollhouse scene (set to the Mother Ginger music) introduce the coda.