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More thoughts on the "Nuts"

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what struck me, was that I'd never, ever, considered "The Nutcracker" to be a story about "a girl child's sexual awakening" at all. :eek: Am I alone in this - in being so naive? Or is it possible that since I've only really seen the Balanchine or "Balanchinish" versions that I missed this? Of course, now that it's been pointed out, I can certainly see how one might draw these conclusions... I'm sorry but I'm too ignorant and lazy to look up Sigmund Freud's time line to see if his concept of "the dream" might have had any impact on any of the earlier Nutcracker versions...

Care to comment or fill me in on this holiday fare?

I recently bought the Kirkland/Baryshnikov version, and aside from the beautiful dancing, I did find the treatment of the story quite bizarre. I had never seen a Nutcracker with such a strong "love story" connotation, which reached its climax during the Act II Pas de deux-a-trois. The whole feeling of this dancing segment, along with Drosselmayer's looks to Clara, gave me an uneasy feeling. Believe it or not, the term "pedophilia" came to my mind. I mean...how old is Clara's character thought to be in this particular version...16, 17...?

Is Drosselmayer somehow jealous of Clara's dancing with the Nutcracker...? -(because, seriously, that's how I perceived it). Also, there were the looks of Clara-(or perhaps Gelsey...?)-to the Nutcracker-(could it be just Misha...?)-with such DEVOTION, which were not reciprocated.

The ending was weird too...Kirkland's heavily made up doll-like face looking sad across the window wasn't that of an innocent girl...that face was saying way more.

Brrr...weeeeeeeeeeeird... :speechless-smiley-003:

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I recently bought the Kirkland/Baryshnikov version, and aside from the beautiful dancing, I did find the treatment of the story quite bizarre. I had never seen a Nutcracker with such a strong "love story" connotation, which reached its climax during the Act II Pas de deux-a-trois. The whole feeling of this dancing segment, along with Drosselmayer's looks to Clara, gave me an uneasy feeling. Believe it or not, the term "pedophilia" came to my mind. I mean...how old is Clara's character thought to be in this particular version...16, 17...?

Is Drosselmayer somehow jealous of Clara's dancing with the Nutcracker...? -(because, seriously, that's how I perceived it). Also, there were the looks of Clara-(or perhaps Gelsey...?)-to the Nutcracker-(could it be just Misha...?)-with such DEVOTION, which were not reciprocated.

The ending was weird too...Kirkland's heavily made up doll-like face looking sad across the window wasn't that of an innocent girl...that face was saying way more.

Brrr...weeeeeeeeeeeird... :speechless-smiley-003:

I think my thoughts sort of go along with cmb on this....

I had this video briefly a few years back. It just seemed too creepy for me and I didn't think it was something I thought I would want to return to so I donated the DVD to a library.

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I agree that the Baryshnikov Nut is kind of weird, and definitely has a creepy pedophilia tone in the pas de deux/trois. But I also kind of don't know if the weirdness is magnified by:

1. it being a studio filmed production, that might have been slightly changed from the stage production.

2. the presence of Gelsey Kirkland. When I watch this video it's Kirkland's persona that is the most striking. She looks girlish enough, but just seems to have a moody intensity that seems a little ... wrong for Nutcracker.

I notice that most "filmed" studio Nutcrackers tend to seem a lot more adult-oriented. The NYCB film of Balanchine's Nutcracker for instance doesn't particularly strike me as being a joyous family affair, and we all know that Mr. B's Nutcracker is probably the most child-like of all Nutcrackers. In fact, it's been accused of being too childlike.

I don't know, does anyone remember seeing the Baryshnikov Nutcracker staged and if they did, did it indeed have the creepy overtones that the film has?

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With regard to the Balanchine production, I just wanted to say that it has never struck me that Marie and the Prince return whence they came at the end of the ballet. If that was their intent, they'd get back in the boat and turn around. Instead they get on a sleigh that goes flying off in the same direction. Maybe I'm being too doggedly literal in my interpretation of the mechanics of stage action, but I always assumed they were soaring away to a realm of their own, full of wonders we can't even imagine.

And I cannot bear to believe, in my heart, that any of it is just a dream!

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