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My own edition of the Nutcracker.


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A while ago I did a personal "edition" of the Nutcracker, making my own imaginary production out of different scenes from the several DVD versions I had seen. To be fair, I should rework this, for which I hadn't had such a high dose of Balanchine's, which I honestly came to appreciate after the video with Kirstler.

So here is my second edition-(and I hope the definitive one... :innocent: )


The concept of an adult Clara. Vainonen. Lezhinna proves that this is possible without having to look too bizarre.

The overture. Balanchine. Love Nuremberg's view from the roof tops.

The opening scene. Vainonen. The outdoors sequence with the snowy sidewalk and the guests arrival is beautiful.

Sets for the Silberhaus house. Balanchine

The party scene. Vainonen. Love the party kids dancing around the Christmas tree, and of course, the girls in pointe shoes. :thumbsup:

The life size dolls divertissements. Two choices here.

Balanchine's Harlequin and Columbine-(love all this Commedia dell'Arte stuff)

Alonso's re-introduction of the three "Petroushka" characters, and their original little stories...

The Battle scene. This is a tough one. I really like the innocent, vintage feeling of Balanchine's, but also Baryshnikov' choreographed Nutcracker movements, and Alonso's stylized mice on pointe. It could be a mixed of the three...i guess.

The transformation scene. Vainonen. Love the beautiful PDD between Clara and the Nutcracker-turned-Prince here.

The Snow Scene.

Sets: Vainonen

Alonso-after-Fedorova-for-BRdMC Snow Queen/King PDD.

Snowflakes' choreography. Balanchine. One of the strongest points in his version. Just glorious, amazing, beautiful!! :clapping:

Act II

Sets: Vainonen

Introduction to Confiterimburg.

Alonso's parade of Matryoshka dolls.

Sir Peter Wright's introduction of BOTH the Sugar Plum Fairy and Prince Coqueluche to welcome the special guests.

Balanchine's mime of the little prince, telling the story. (Essential for the coherence of the whole thing).

National Divertissements.

Spanish Dance. Balanchine. (Lourdes and Nilas were beautiful)

Arabian Dance. Balanchine. Great speeding of the music, which usually gets sooooooo looooooooong in many stagings. Also his Odalisque has a more interesting choreography than the extensions-showing ones from other productions...AND pointe shoes.

Chinese Dance. Balanchine. Love the porcelain-doll feeling of his characters, and the box concept. Also the grand ecartes for his male lead here.

Danish Dance. I can't decide here. I have three strong candidates. Baryshnikov. There's this cute couple of shepherd/shepherdess, with the little story of the guy disguising as a wolf and scaring away the ballerina. Balanchine's with his lovely ballerinas and Vainonen's delicious rococo Pas de Trois for the three kids. A tough one here.

Russian Dance. Balanchine. Historical based and very exciting to watch.

Mother Cigogne. Balanchine. Love his polichinelles-(something I discarded in the past, IMC)

Waltz of the Flowers. Balanchine, of course..the other strong point of his staging. Just BREATHLESS. Also love his Dewdrop. Special mention to Vainonen's romantic, closer to the original choreography with the waltzing couples, also great.

Grand Pas de Deux. Ivanov choreography, Sir Peter Wright's staging. Always my winner, as you all know. The beautiful adagio, the two variations where they go, the whole thing. Also love the rococo feeling of his costumes.

Grand Finale. Balanchine. He really knew how to present all the characters at the end, and the only version with a real "apotheosis", with the flying troika.

As you can see, my current options difer greatly from those of my pre-NYCB-DVD times, which can be viewed HERE. :)

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Cristian, it's been enlightening -- and fun -- to join you in your voyage of exploration. I respect your willingness to expand your appreciation of Nutcracker and have to admit that you and others have opened my eyes as to the richness of this ballet.

I've known the Balanchine from childhood. I guess you could say that this became my default version, as Alonso's was for you. You have encouraged me to revisit videos of several different Nutcrackers in a relatively short period of time. I now have a set of fresh visual images that allow me to imagine your composite version. It sounds good to me. :clapping:

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And so, this year, I'm even editing and presenting "my own" production of the Nutcracker.

Here it is, at its best moments.

Part I

The Battle

The Snow Queen/King PDD


The Snow Scene


The presentation of The Nutcracker's sisters, the matryoshka dolls

Part II coming up...

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And then Part III from my previous two posts-(which should have been Part II actually. Les Divertissements)

Spanish Dance


Dance of the Marzipan Mirlitons


Chinese Dance


Arabian Dance

Russian Dance, Balanchine's also-(didn't find a clip of its own...)

(Note that everybody is on pointe here...from Clara to the mice to the Spanish females to the odalisques...)

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This is marvelous, Cristian -- you are an impresario, bringing us your version of "the best of Nutcracker.". I've looked at a selection of clips and have booked a free afternoon to watch everything in sequence. I agree with you about Balanchine's Snowflake and Flower scenes.

Off Topic: The photo of Tiler Peck/ Dewdrop sailing through the air (today's NY Times) was one of the most exciting photos I've seen in a long, long time. Who knew such vitality could be expressed in a single still photograph.


Go to photo # 3 of five.

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