The idea for the ballet The Nutcracker came from the one-time director of the Imperial Theatres of Russia, who wanted to see a fairytale ballet on stage, based on E. T. A. Hoffmann's story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, which would surpass all before it in both sound and spectacle. He commissioned Tchaikovsky to compose the score. The third and last of Tchaikovsky's ballets after Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty, the work brought its composer huge success. The six-movement suite derived from the music of the ballet was premièred in March 1892, prior to the first performance of the splendidly staged theatrical work itself in December of the same year. The Nutcracker would go on to become the most frequently performed piece in the ballet repertoire. On Christmas Eve the family gathers together to decorate the huge Christmas tree set up in the parlour. The guests arrive in turn and the exchanging of gifts begins. Soon a great many lovely toys, fairytale figures and dolls lie beneath the tree. The children's godfather Drosselmeyer gives Marie a nutcracker doll. After the excitement of the evening the little girl goes to bed with her new toy. Returning to the scene of the evening's events in her dreams, the dolls and toys come to life and the room is filled with mice that start to plunder the tree. Thus a series of adventures begins. Later the Nutcracker Prince happily welcomes Marie, who has grown into the beautiful Princess Marie. The whole story is seen through the sometimes frightening, sometimes miraculous dreams of the little girl.
Sponsors: Local Government of the County Town of Szeged, Szeged National Theatre, NKA, Ministry of Human Resources, Novotel Hotel - Szeged, CE Glass Company, Foundation for Contemporary Ballet
Media sponsors: Rádió88, Délmagyarország, Mediamotion Kft., Marie Claire, Színházi Portál, Fidelio, Kultura.hu, Táncélet.hu
Presented by: National Dance Theatre
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