The different incarnations of the Nutcracker ever since Vsevolozhsky't times and the way it should/would appear to balletic audiences seems to be very intertwined with the fact that the heroine of the ballet ,Clara, wasn't designed since the beginning to be a full grown ballerina. Stanislava Belinskaya seems to be wearing pointe shoes in the few pics that have surfaced online, but it still remains a mistery how much did she actually danced all along the ballet, either at the party scene, or if anything during the transformation scene and act II. (I hope Doug Fullington could be reading this so he could give us some hints as to what she really did dancing wise). Then, from Vainonen to Fedorova to Balanchine and Sir Peter Wright, everybody has had to deal with this problem and HOW to make sense of the fact that the main ballet couple, Fee Dragee and Prince Coqueluche, don't show up to dance until the very end of the production. Some, like Balanchine, Sir Peter Wright and Alicia Alonso, decided to keep the libretto intact, being Act II a fete offered to Clara, although neither in Balanchine's or Alonso's does Clara gets up her seat, whereas in Wright both she and the Nutcracker adult dancer keep joining the dances.
Now, the Soviet era stagers-(notably Vainonen)- seem to have gone for a totally different approach, by using only one Principal dancer for both roles, and by basically morphing Clara into Fee Dragee in Act II, so she can be seen all along the production as THE ballerina. Now, this goes against the original libretto, for which in Vainonen's Act II, the whole thing is just a dancing divertissement offered to no one in particular. The whole concept of the offering fete gets lost. For what I can tell Russians still like this approach-(Misha used Kirkland to dance the whole thing in his staging, and I believe Ratmansky does it too).
Vaiinonen, Wright and Alonso use adult Claras and so they dance quite a bit in Act I, although the Cuban Clara-(who is NOT a principal dancer, but usually an up and coming soloist)- keeps seated in Act II. I think the Royal also uses a soloist for Clara and the big shot gets reserved for Fee Dragee and Coqueluche. Balanchine goes for a completely non dancing/child Clara. Balanchine, on the other side, dramatically diminished the appearance of Prince Coqueluche by suppressing his variation.
In my personal view, I like for a Nutcracker to follow Vsevolozhky's libretto. Usually Balanchine doesn't engage me that much up until the snow scene due to the overly infantilized environment of Act I, and in I believe the Russians are happy to receive their ballerina heroine onstage early in the night.
How do you like this situation to be resolved...?
And...how did Petipa work on this matter...? DID BELINSKAYA ACTUALLY DANCED...?
Who should take the big bouquet..Clara or Fee Dragee...?