Posts filed under ‘The Nutcracker’

The Nutcracker Act II – The Finale

The Finale

soaring crescendos

all the dancers on the stage

Clara bids farewell

clara

me – Act I – center stage – before the tree starts to grow

The photo above was taken from a special souvenir photo book which was created for the 1981 Nutcracker Season.  After spending my Sunday afternoon digging through boxes, I found this gem amongst many, many other treasures.  This photo was taken in 1979.

I hope you have enjoyed my series of pieces inspired by The Nutcracker Ballet.  As a child, the holidays were The Nutcracker. As an adult, they are very special memories – ones which I will never, ever forget.  Just ask my boys….they hear the same stories year after year, after year, after year…..and it looks like y’all will be suffering the same fate!

December 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm 17 comments

The Nutcracker Act II – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

§

The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

§

§

celesta keys strike

˜

dainty pink pointes enamor

˜

a charming classic

§

§

The celesta, an instrument invented in 1886, gets its name for its “celestial,” tinkling sound.  It provides the distinctive music that accompanies the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. It is a struck idiophone operated by a keyboard.  Tchaikovsky is considered to be the first major composer to utilize the celesta in a musical composition – his Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is the most well-known. (For the music buffs in the audience, Tchaikovsky first used the instrument in a symphonic poem – The Voyevoda in 1891 – The Nutcracker was written in 1892.)

December 22, 2014 at 2:30 pm 4 comments

The Nutcracker Act II Pas De Deux

ξ

The Sugar Plum Fairy and Her Cavalier

ξ

one

spotlight

on stage right.

they stand prepared.

he extends his arm –

she gently takes his hand

stepping onto perfect pointes.

gracefully and delicately

a majestic pas de deux unfolds…

dreams of sugar plums become her desire…..

ξ

ξ

A long time ago.....

my first year as Clara – December 1978

ζ

In 1974, the Cincinnati Ballet Company premiered The Nutcracker.  For two years, I sat in the audience – mesmerized.  In Summer of 1976, I changed ballet schools and that December I was cast as a party girl and bunny.  Many little girls and boys see more than just a ballet while sitting in the audience of a production of The Nutcracker – they discover their heart’s true desire.

ζ

On a separate note, this piece of music is my favorite piece of Tchaikovsky music – of any music, really.  Each time I hear it, I cry.  Incidentally, twenty years later my son Peyton would be born to this particular piece.  (I made two ‘labor tapes’ and this was on cassette number 2).  The words written above are based on the original Marius Petipa choreography, with the exception of the last line…of course.

December 22, 2014 at 1:55 pm 6 comments

shiny bits

~

finishing touches

accoutrements of splendor

remnants of a past

worn under lights of a stage

priceless jewels from a dream

~

~

IMG_9897

pieces of my Flower costume

~

Note:  I did not vandalize my costume – after 12 years of lots of sweat, hair spray, wear and tear, cleaning and constant mending (in other words, costumes live a very ‘difficult’ life) – bits and pieces have a tendency to fall off.  The flower, which was made by hand, fell off of my headpiece.  The pink shiny thing fell off of my bodice and the earrings – well, those were worn for many ballets, actually.  I did not have pierced ears…yet.  (By the way, the trick to keeping clip and/or screw on earrings on one’s ear lobe – eye lash glue)

 

December 21, 2014 at 4:27 pm 6 comments

The Nutcracker Act II – Arabian Dance

The Arabian Dance

‘Coffee’

quietly subdued

an exotic seduction

she moves like fluid

FullSizeRender

where some of my nuts reside….

I decided to cut and paste this variation – the original lacked a photo, which was due to my lack of poor planning.  Last year when I started this project it was supposed to be one post, then it became an entire series.

The photo above is in response to a question asked – where do I keep all of my Nutcrackers?  What you see is a shelf, in a hutch, located in my living room.  I have lots of Nutcracker items – lots – and these are my most valuable.  The one in the very center, on the top shelf – is priceless.  In due time, you will discover why…

December 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm 8 comments

the overture

~

his score calls my name

i am summoned to the stage

home – where i belong

~

PhotoScan

photo taken for The Cincinnati Enquirer in December 1998 – studio rehearsal for The Nutcracker – the battle scene

~

December 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm 7 comments

My Nutcracker Story

*

once upon a time,

there lived a little girl

whose dream was to be in The Nutcracker,

to dance amongst the snowflakes, flowers and dolls

but

most of all to ‘live’ the role of Clara.

*

she practiced for hours and hours each day,

thought of nothing but ‘becoming the part’,

of the sweet little girl

whose gift from her grandfather

became a prince

and

captured her heart.

*

after two years of being a party girl and bunny,

and

watching Clara dance from the wings,

the day came to pass

when the cast sheet revealed

she would finally come

to realize her dream.

*

there were rehearsals in studios,

rehearsals on stage,

rehearsals with costumes and orchestra,

nights with no sleep,

big blisters on toes ~

she was living in a constant state of euphoria!

*

when opening night arrived it was quite the affair,

there was a dynamic which could not be contained ~

from the moment the strings played their very first notes

and

the red velvet curtain was raised.

*

the ballet began with a party and guests,

dancing and playing with toys ~

until a mysterious gentleman suddenly arrived

with his enchanted dolls for all to enjoy.

*

there was a very unique doll

set aside for last,

to be given to one special girl ~

the mysterious man had created a Nutcracker

for his granddaughter

to enrapture her world.

*

Clara was bewitched as she danced and danced,

till it was time for the party to end.

as the guests took their leave

the house became quiet ~

it was the moment to forge onward to bed.

*

BUT

Clara was restless,

unable to sleep

so she made her way down the stairs to the tree,

where her Nutcracker stood guard,

and

the clock struck midnight

with chimes hailing the beginning

of Clara’s magnificent dream.

*

the big stage came alive as the sets disappeared

and

the tree grew over twenty feet tall ~

there were regiments of soldiers,

a mouse king with four heads

and

scurrying mice…

some very big and a few very small.

*

then it happened ~ it came ~ the moment of surprise

when the Nutcracker became larger than life ~

he fought with his sword

and

his faithful soldiers behind him…

a battle… with no end in sight.

*

during all of the raucous,

Clara stood on the sidelines

watching

and

thinking of what she could do,

when a thought suddenly occurred ~

‘the mice king needs a distraction

why not throw something at him…

something handy…. like a …. shoe’?

*

SO

*

she grabbed her shoe,

aimed for one of the heads

and

threw as hard as she could ~

where upon the king turned away,

a sword met its mark ~

ending the reign of the mouse king for good.

*

Clara stood in disbelief as the soldiers and mice

walked away leaving nothing behind

but

a man

who moments before was her Nutcracker ~

now a prince leading her on a journey….

way into the night.

*

the end of act one saw the magical forest ~

a snow queen and her prince…

then

a flurry of snowflakes prancing on stage

with ‘snow’ falling from an overhead scrim.

*

~ Intermission ~

*

act two began with a ride in a sleigh

to the land of fairies, dancing flowers and sweets

and

a story of how Clara saved the Nutcracker’s life ~

broke the spell

of a doll he would no longer be.

*

after introductions were made,

the prince called upon

the kingdom to perform for his guest ~

the land of sweets

came bursting alive with dancing

and

classical music at its best.

*

as Clara and her prince sat

in a gazebo on stage right,

she knew in her heart

it was more than a ‘dream’ ~

the desire she felt was real…

the journey was real…

it was ‘who’

she was meant to be.

*

the young girl wanted to waltz along with the flowers,

wave a fan in black Spanish lace

and

pirouette in a tutu all around the stage

as the reed instruments in the orchestra played.

*

the last to perform was the sugar plum fairy

along with her cavalier ~

a pas de deux so beautiful,

so spectacular to watch

that Clara’s eyes began to well up with tears…

because

Clara knew ~ the young girl knew ~

the grande finale was about to begin,

when all the dancers performed one last time

and

bid farewell to her and the prince.

*

the end of the ballet brought curtain calls,

a dozen red roses with applause

and

stage hands taking apart the sets

and

packing away the props.

*

*

when the end of night

finally arrived,

the young girl laid awake in her bed ~

all she could see

were visions of herself

dancing around in her head ~

~ ~ ~

waltzing with flowers,

pirouettes in a tutu,

and

waving a fan in black Spanish lace ~ ~ ~

leaping through the air,

under snowflakes and candy canes

all around a magnificent stage.

*

clara two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*

post script:  I wrote this piece last year and I chose to post it again this year, however, I refined it a bit.  An edit here and an edit there – one year after the fact with fresh eyes and a few years of writing poetry under my belt (or shall I say under my tutu:)

December 16, 2014 at 2:20 pm 40 comments

december’s past

~

music from my youth

unleashing a flood of dreams

ten years of my life

~

~

poster

~

December 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm 6 comments

My Nutcracker Story

clara*

once upon a time,

there lived a little girl

whose dream was to be in The Nutcracker –

to dance amongst the snowflakes, flowers and dolls

but

most of all to ‘live’ the role of Clara.

*

she practiced for hours and hours each day,

thought of nothing but ‘becoming the part’ –

of the sweet little girl

whose gift from her grandfather

became a prince

and

who captured her heart.

*

after two years of being a party girl and bunny,

watching Clara dance from the wings –

the day came to pass

when the cast sheet revealed

she would finally come

to realize her dream.

*

there were rehearsals in studios,

rehearsals on stage,

rehearsals with costumes and orchestra,

nights with no sleep,

big blisters on toes –

she was living in a constant state of euphoria.

*

when opening night arrived it was quite the affair,

there was a dynamic which could not be contained –

from the moment the strings played their very first notes

and

the red velvet curtain was raised.

*

the ballet began with a party and guests,

dancing and playing with toys –

until a mysterious gentleman suddenly arrived

with his enchanted dolls for all to enjoy.

*

there was a very unique doll

set aside for last,

to be given to one special girl –

the mysterious man had created a Nutcracker

for his granddaughter

to enrapture her world.

*

Clara was bewitched as she danced

and

she danced

until it was time for the party to end.

as the guests took their leave,

the house became quiet –

it was the moment to forge onward to bed.

*

BUT

Clara was restless,

unable to sleep

so she made her way down the stairs to the tree –

where her Nutcracker stood guard,

the clock struck midnight

with chimes hailing the beginning

of Clara’s magnificent dream.

*

the big stage came alive as the sets disappeared

and

the tree grew over twenty feet tall –

there were regiments of soldiers,

a mouse king with four heads

and

scurrying mice – some very big and a few small.

*

then it happened – it came – the moment of surprise

when the Nutcracker became larger than life.

he fought with his sword

and

his faithful soldiers behind him –

a battle…….with no end in sight.

*

during all of the raucous,

Clara stood on the sidelines

watching

and

thinking of what she could do,

when a thought suddenly occurred –

‘the mice king needs a distraction

why not throw something at him…

something handy…. like a …. shoe’?

*

SO

*

she held her shoe in her hand,

aimed for one of the heads

and

threw as hard as she could –

where upon the king turned away,

a sword met its mark,

ending the reign of the mouse king for good.

*

Clara stood in disbelief as the soldiers and mice

walked away leaving nothing behind

but

a man

who moments before was her Nutcracker –

now a prince leading her on a journey….

way into the night.

*

the end of act one saw the magical forest –

a snow queen and her prince…

then

a flurry of snowflakes prancing on stage

with ‘snow’ falling from an overhead scrim.

*

˜ Intermission ˜

*

act two began with a ride in a sleigh

to the land of fairies, dancing flowers and sweets

and

a story of how Clara saved the Nutcracker’s life –

broke the spell

of a doll he would no longer be.

*

after introductions were made,

the prince called upon

the kingdom to perform for his guest.

the land of sweets

came bursting alive with dancing

and

classical music at its best.

*

as Clara and her prince sat

in a gazebo on stage right,

she knew in her heart

it was more than a ‘dream’ –

the desire she felt was real…

the journey was real…

it was ‘who’

she was meant to be.

*

the young girl wanted to waltz along with the flowers,

wave a fan in black Spanish lace

and

pirouette in a tutu all around the stage

as the reed instruments in the orchestra played.

*

the last to perform was the sugar plum fairy

along with her cavalier

a pas de deux so beautiful –

so magnificent to watch

that Clara’s eyes began to well up with tears

because

Clara knew – the young girl knew –

the grande finale was about to begin,

when all the dancers performed one last time

and

bid farewell to her and the prince.

*

the end of the ballet brought curtain calls,

a red dozen roses with applause

and

stage hands taking apart the sets

and

storing away the props.

*

*

when the night finally came to an end,

the young girl laid awake in her bed –

all she could see were visions of herself

dancing in her head…

… 

waltzing along with flowers,

waving a fan in black Spanish lace

and

wearing a tutu

twirling

and

leaping

  all around the magnificent stage.

clara two

Astier de Villatte Ceramic Figurine
given to me by my mother – 1979

*

*

a brief post script: I really wanted to have this piece completed by Christmas Eve, but it was not meant to be.  I began writing this poem back in November.  It seems I kept hitting ‘mind’ blocks.  Each time I tried to revisit the piece, a haiku was born – thus my Nutcracker haiku series.  I am not certain what, but something happened while my boys were home – creative juices, maybe?  I must say this is the longest poem I have ever written.  I hope you enjoy it.

December 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm 22 comments

The Nutcracker Act II – The Finale

The Finale

soaring crescendos

all the dancers on the stage

Clara bids farewell

poster

This poster was issued in 1979.

December 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm 7 comments

Older Posts


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,317 other followers

The Archives


HOMESPUN

STORIES & POETRY

Natalie Breuer

Natalie. Writer. Photographer. Etc.

Crystelle's Poetry

by RCrystelle

Kitty-Kat Chronicles

writing and artsy free spirit

Painted Poems

Make your life a poem.

%d bloggers like this: