Blast at Nutcracker
Posted 15 December 2008 - 05:27 AM
Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:06 AM
By the way, the reason why I mentioned Swan Lake in this discussion is that most versions performed today are pretty much very close to the 1895 Petipa/Ivanov version in terms of plot line, despite all the different versions of the end of the ballet. That's why the 1953 Bourmeister version caused such a sensation when it was first performed because it was so different in many ways from the Petipa/Ivanov version. In contrast, because Balanchine dramatically changed the storyline of the main female character in The Nutcracker (even changing character's name from Maria/Masha to Clara), that's why Europeans like one version and Americans like another version.
Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:34 AM
Balanchine went back to Hoffmann and called his little heroine Marie.
most NUTCRACKERs keep to Clara. Balanchine's is one of the few hereabouts to use the name Marie.
also just how did Balanchine change the main story line?
Marie stays Marie and the Sugar Plum Fairy stays the Sugar Plum Fairy (albeit with some of her music re-arranged to place her solo earlier in the last act than Tchaikovsky and Petipa planned. it's always seemed possible that Balanchine was 'answering' some of the complaints lodged against the original production, which bemoaned the fact that the ballerina's dancing didn't come into the action until late in the last act.)
it would seem that the one who made more changes in the libretto was Vainonen, who had Masha take on the music/role of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Posted 15 December 2008 - 08:03 AM
Posted 15 December 2008 - 08:05 AM
Posted 15 December 2008 - 08:08 AM
The 1892 Petersburg version of the story makes Drosselmeyer and the Nutcracker doppelgangers. Balanchine adds a "Drosselmeyer's nephew" and thus a dreimalsganger! But by adding him, and an additional pantomime set to the violin entr'acte from Sleeping Beauty, Balanchine added both more logic and more magic to an ambiguous storyline. It seems to have worked out all right.
Posted 15 December 2008 - 08:16 AM
Well, the pas de deux, anyway. The Fedorova had some different mime at the beginning of Act II, but that's not a big deal for the Sugar Plum Fairy. The waltz finale was somewhat different, too.
Posted 15 December 2008 - 09:03 AM
5. Snow Queens and Kings as noted above.
Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:25 AM
Posted 29 June 2011 - 10:15 AM
Mel Johnson, on Dec 26 2002, 11:19 PM, said:
In talking to several people who were there at the time, I learned that part of the reason Balanchine chose to have a nephew in there was to showcase the talent of a wonderful child dancer/actor named Paul "Rusty" Nickel (later soloist, ABT). He padded the Nutcracker part to create a cognate in the "real world" of the party, but if you cut that part out, and the interpolated entr'acte from Sleeping Beauty, very little, in fact nothing, would be lost from the original intent of the libretto. Another part of the reason for the addenda was that Balanchine also wanted something more for his original Drosselmeyer, Mischa Arshansky, to do. While this is a part of the usually-execrable practice of "making sense" of a fairy tale (who are the Grinches who thought this trend up?), it was much less offensive when done by Balanchine. And what tragic music? It's a descending C scale! Furthermore, they're mice, not rats.
Rusty Nickel was my brother. As you may know, he died way too soon at the age of 33. I wanted to thank you for your comment about him. I showed it to our mother and it made her day, possibly her year. Thank you, Joan Nickel Craig
Posted 29 June 2011 - 10:19 AM
Joan Nickel Craig
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