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Christmas Eve - 2012

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"Rabbit drummers" appear in Marius Petipa's scenario for the midnight battle between mice and toy soldiers in THE NUTCRACKER from the start.

these scans of a vintage fir tree ornament of unknown age, from Russia, show that the tradition of the rabbit drummer, frequently found variously in stagings of THE NUTCRACKER today, might be a longstanding Russian tradition in general.



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"Bunny" drummers are part of the array of dancing dolls in the original and subsequent versions of the 1888 THE FAIRY DOLL variously known as follows:


Dancing doll

Fata delle bambole

Fée des poupées

Feia kukol

Feya kukol

In a doll shop

so the image is likely one of German origin, given the ballet's Viennese beginnings.

Puppenfee: Chor: Josef Hassreiter; mus: Josef Bayer; lib: Josef Hassreiter and Franz Gaul; scen: Anton Brioschi. First perf: Vienna, Hofoper, Oct 4, 1888.

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