Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Tales! The Nutcracker and the King of Mice!


The Nutcracker and the King of Mice is a magical story that has been preformed and told in so many different, beautiful ways. I always watch the performance by the Russian Ballet on TV every year at Christmastime. When I was little, my dad took me to see a local production of The Nutcracker and, ever since then, I have loved imagining the story to the music. My absolute favorite part is the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. I think the music is haunting, and the dancing is enchanting.

The Nutcracker and the King of Mice is a story about a little German girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a battle against the fierce Mouse King with seven heads.

Clara and her brother, Fritz, are playing as their parents, Mr. & Mrs. Stahlbaum, are welcoming family and friends into their home for a Christmas party. Their godfather, a skilled clock and toy maker, arrives as the scene is growing festive. He presents two life sized dolls to the room and, to the delight of the party guests, they begin to dance. Pulling Clara aside he gives her a present. It is a beautiful nutcracker, which instantly becomes the main topic of conversation. Fritz becomes jealous and breaks the toy. Clara is heartbroken. Her godfather fixes the nutcracker with a handkerchief that he magically draws out of the air. The party dwindles down and the guests begin to leave. That evening, after all the lights have dimmed and the world is falling asleep, Clara slips back down to check on her prized nutcracker. She lays down under the Christmas tree holding him in her arms and closes her eyes. Once in the land of dreams, she is transported into a world where a Nutcracker Prince holds her destiny in his hands as he fights against the terrifying Mouse King.

You can really imagine this story however you wish. I love the feeling the music stirs up inside of me! Does anyone else enjoy The Nutcracker? Which parts are you favorite? We would love to hear your thoughts on what stories make your holiday season magical! ~ F




12 comments:

  1. I love the Nutcracker...we saw Cirque Holidaze last week and that was wonderful, too. I still think my fave book is Eric Carl's Dream Snow...I love the tinkling sound!!!

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  2. Do you have the OVATION channel? Every night they are doing a different version of The Nutcracker (last night was the Royal Ballet in England), I think tonight is the Berlin Ballet...Everyone has a chance to vote for their favorite and that one will be replayed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

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  3. Thanks Donna, that's great! I love watching all the different versions- I've only seen a couple that I wasn't a big fan of- I will definitely check it out!
    ~ F

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  4. My daughter and I just read this the other night. I'd love to go see it.

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  5. I have seen the ballet a million times, but I have never read the book. I will have to read it this holiday season! Thanks~

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  6. I was lucky enough to see the nutcracker performed at Sadler’s Wells it was a magical performance and one I will never forget. I think it was about 2007 when I went but I still remember how lovely it was.
    I recently compiled a list of my ‘best ever’ Christmas books and forgot to include the nutcracker – thank you for the reminder.

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  7. Don't you just love that title, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy? Sounds so magical. I've always wanted to see The Nutcracker but so far haven't been lucky enough to. I really hope I do one day though! Thanks for sharing a beautiful post! You put a smile on my face :)

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

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  8. I have to be honest here. I used to love the Nutcracker. I made it a Christmas tradition to take the children to see it, I played the music, I extolled the beauty of the dance. Well, you get the idea. Then one of my kids fell so much in love with it that she performed in it at our local theater every year until she outgrew it: mouse, soldier, exotic Indian dancer, Clara! I saw the Nutcracker enough times to be able to stand in for any role at a moment's notice. Finally, this year . . . no Nutcracker.

    I'm in Nutcracker recovery until 2020. :-)

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  9. The Nutcracker is so special to me. When I was in junior high, all I wanted to do was play my violin for this ballet. I didn't get to play during it, but my teacher arranged for me to play before it as people waited. It was amazing and wonderful, everything the play always meant to me and more :)

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  10. @Barbara- The performance you saw sounds amazing.

    @Megan- I hope you get to see it or read it!

    @Cleemckenzie- If you saw it every year and rehearsals- I can imagine you need a break. Even fantastic shows/books can be overdone!

    @Elisa- That is so wonderful that you were able to play before the performance and be part of the magical night. You are such a talented musician!

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  11. Hi Donna- I have been tuning into the OVATION channel all week- and was so excited to catch the Bolshoi Russian Ballet- I think it was Wed. That one is just so magical! Then, last night, I watched another version and I did not like it at all- It was the STRANGEST production of The Nutcracker I have ever seen- I had no idea who was who, or what was happening- that one definitely does not have my vote- I actually found it to be somewhat disturbing... The classic production remains in the #1 spot for me! ~ F

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  12. While this review sounds good- I don't think this is the book for me. I have seen this ballet- but I am just not that in to ballet.

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