Watching ‘The Nutcracker’ is a staple of the Christmas holiday

Addy Chalmers, Staff Writer

Christmas is a time to spend with friends and family. Many people watch shows, movies, plays, and dances during this season. One of the classics to watch is ballet performance The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker is a Russian ballet performance created by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. The full-length production first appeared in the United States in 1944, at the San Francisco Opera Ballet with William Christensen as the director.

The ballet takes place during a Christmas Eve party, where the main character Clara is given a nutcracker that her brother breaks. At midnight, Clara checks on her nutcracker, and she shrinks and witnesses a battle between an army of mice and toy soldiers.

Clara kills the king, and her nutcracker takes her through a land of snow. The Nutcracker becomes a human prince and takes Clara to her next stop, the magical Land of Sweets.

The Sugar Plum Fairy welcomes the two and instructs them to dance. After that, the ballet then ends with everyone dancing a waltz.

Nutcrackers represent a being that holds power and strength. They serve as a watch guard to protect families. The nutcracker in the play does this for Clara. He is loyal and protects Clara in many situations throughout the play. He is a heroic character and is seen to be seen as a mighty warrior.

John Carroll puts on their own performance of The Nutcracker and is performed by the John Carroll College Preparatory Dance Program every winter. Year after year, many students and parents come with their families as a tradition.

ophomore Olivia Ayd is part of the Dance Program. She said, “My favorite scene in The Nutcracker is ‘The Waltz of Flowers’ because it is the longest number, and in my opinion, it is also the prettiest. I love the music and how the dancing of all the girls goes together.”

Senior Ryleigh Stockson said, “My favorite scene in The Nutcracker is ‘Arabian because’ it is one of the only dances in The Nutcracker that is not ballet.”