The Nutcracker: A Christmas Story for All Generations

Amber Gorbel, Crown Writer and Photographer

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The lights dim, the curtain rises, the audience goes silent. It is that time of the year where music and dance come together and create something beautiful. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is a Christmas’ favorite fantasy since 1892 when it was first performed. Since then, the ballet is held in theaters all over the nation every December.

As some may already know, the story is based on a girl named Clara who was given a nutcracker as a gift which comes to life on Christmas Eve. The tale showcases the joy of Christmas and the many diverse cultures around the world. The music created by the Russian composer, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, will never be detached from the ballet. Though the special classical music is not everybody’s traditional holiday music. These particular sounds of Christmas create the story itself and carry all of the emotions of Christmas throughout it. “This ballet is spectacular. The dancing is dazzling and the story line was wonderfully created. I would recommend anyone to see it” says Celine Rafie (11).

Even though The Nutcracker tells the same story, there is always something special about this performance since there is never one open seat in the theater every year. People are in awe by how the dancers make everything look effortless. “My grandma was the one who introduced me to The Nutcracker,” says Anna Podborny (12). “It now holds a special place in my heart because it is a family tradition and also a part of Christmas tradition.” As a fan of this ballet, Podborny explains how much she enjoys this classic exploit. “I have seen The Nutcracker five times and I can say that my favorite part is the land of sweets when they go through all of the different countries. There are different dances that represent the different aspects of each culture which I think is really fascinating.” She then elaborates on how it is a special part of Christmas culture. “It is such a light heart story and it really represents what Christmas is all about. It showcases how to keep the joy in Christmas, even if your being chased by a giant rat!” The Nutcracker may not be everybody’s cup of tea but for lots of people, it fills the heart with spirit and joy.

Talented dancers are roaming everywhere and Marian Central is one of the places to look. Colette Moczalla (12) has been dancing for 16 years and has been part of The Nutcracker for 11 years. Moczella figured she needed a break her junior year, but decided to come back to the spotlight this Christmas. “When I did dance I was really busy and it added stress. Although I did miss the idea of performing on stage because I love showing people what I can do” says Moczalla (12). Practicing every day was a normal routine for this young dancer which involved a lot of hard work and dedication. Her passion for dance reflects on her incredible stage performances. “Overall, dance taught me to be more responsible and independent in a way and to not care about what other people think of me. I am definitely more confident” she explains. The Nutcracker consists of many different performances and Colette traditionally participates in the Arabian dance. She explains how this specific dance is her favorite because “it has more feeling to it than any other dance.” Many people come to see The Nutcracker every year not only because it is a Christmas tradition but because it draws them back to their childhood. The dancers ultimately create such a beautiful story with their art of dance. Moczalla clarifies, “You have to realize that people pay a lot of money to come to see us perform so that is why it is necessary to practice for months so we can perform well. If you have a passion for dance, you will automatically flow right with the story as you perform.”

Overall, The Nutcracker marks a special spot in the hearts of people all over the world. This ballet is not just part of the American and Russian culture since many of the dances are Chinese, Spanish and Arabian. The Nutcracker is a Christmas tradition that unifies many different cultural traditions through dance all over the globe.

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