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Nutcracker Ballet


Treat your loved ones to Goldsboro Ballet's famous Nutcracker at the Paramount Theatre. Praised by audiences as 'original and exciting,' this marvelously imagined production, created by Goldsboro Ballet's Founding Artistic Director Peggy Wingate and further adapted by Assistant Director Mary Franklin, features over 75 dancers, gigantic sets, a snowfall every performance, and - the magical sound of the season - Tchaikovsky's beloved score. Get dressed to the nines, or come as you are, but reach the very heart of the holidays - Nutcracker at the Paramount Theatre!

--Details--

About Goldsboro Ballet's Nutcracker

Goldsboro Ballet can proudly lay claim to Wayne County's first and most recognized and celebrated production of Nutcracker, now in its 31st season. The brilliant result of close collaboration between Goldsboro Ballet founding Artistic Director and choreographer Peggy Wingate and her daughter, Assistant Director Mary Franklin premiered to local acclaim in December 2001. The Directors delved deeply into the original story, infusing the ballet with a drama and strength that fully complements Tchaikovsky's rich score, while creating a kaleidoscope of roles for all levels of the Company.

Nutcracker is our great repertory ballet. With multiple performances each season, Baby Mice can dream of one day being Party girls and Chinese dancers, Snowflakes, and Flowers and, ultimately, the role of Clara, in which Company women make their debut as ballerina. As students and Company grow up through Nutcracker, so the ballet grows with us, constantly renewing itself and offering challenges and insights about ballet, and life, to the next generation.

--Act I--

Scene I
The drawing room is filled with warmth and merriment as the Sielberhaus family welcomes relatives and friends to their annual Christmas festivities. Clara comes downstairs to join the party only to be confronted by a vision of giant mice. Frightened, she brushes away the memories of her dream and runs into her mother's arms. She is drawn into the happy celebration and the party continues until Herr Drosselmeier suddenly appears.

Godfather Drosselmeier is a mysterious figure, well-known to all children of Nuremburg. Despite his odd manner and appearance, he is a great favorite in the Silberhaus home since he always brings surprises. This time, however, Clara is a little afraid of her Godfather because of his strange role in her dream. Throughout the evening Drosselmeier encourages the boys to tease Clara and her friends and disrupt the party. Then, to entertain all the guests, he presents life-sized dancing dolls. Clara is fascinated by the dolls and tries to persuade her godfather to give it to her. Clara is enchanted with the present and dances happily until her mischievous little brother, Fritz, grabs the doll and breaks it. The children's godfather steps in once more to bandage the wounded Nutcracker with his handkerchief and to dry Clara's tears.

As evening draws to a close, Dr. Silberhaus invites everyone, to join in one last dance. Slowly the guests depart and Clara and Fritz are led off to bed.

Scene II
After the Silberhaus family goes to bed at night Clara runs downstairs to check on her beloved Nutcracker, and falls asleep on the couch in the drawing room. She is awoken by life size mice that tease and taunt her.

Suddenly all the familiar objects in the room begin to change. The toy cabinet and the drawing room furniture grow bigger and bigger, and the Christmas tree assumes nightmarish proportions. Then her Nutcracker becomes life sized, followed by an army of toy soldiers who line up to face the ragamuffin band of mice. At the climax of the battle the Nutcracker fights a duel with a gigantic King of Mice. Seeing that the Nutcracker is about to be defeated, Clara bravely runs to his aid and throws her shoe at the Mouse King allowing the Nutcracker to kill him.

Scene III
Clara is transformed into the beautiful young woman of her fantasies and, where the Nutcracker fell, a handsome Prince appears. Together they walk from the Silberhaus drawing room out into the Land of Snow. There Clara and her Prince dance together, joined by swirling flurries of snowflakes.

--Act II--

Scene I
Clara and the Prince are aboard a sleigh flying through visions of a magical land. They land at an enchanting land of sweets where they are greeted by the kingdom's Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier. Clara and the Prince tells the story of the battle between the Nutcracker and his soldiers and the army of mice. Clara is praised for her bravery in saving the Prince that was trapped inside a Nutcracker.

The Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier brings on one group of dancers after another to entertain his honored guests. They see sweets from various Countries and a waltz danced by girls dressed in the colors of spring flowers.

For their new friends, The Cavalier and Sugar Plum Fairy dance a romantic pas de deux, expressing their love. All the entertainers join them in a grande finale. At the height of the festivities the sleigh returns. It is time for Clara to return home.


Goldsboro Ballet's Nutcracker Facts

  • Who created the music to the Nutcracker?
    • Tchaikovsky. Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky was perhaps the greatest Russian composer. He created the opera 'Eugene Onegin' and the ballet 'Swan Lake', but I would argue that the 'Nutcracker' was his greatest and most enduring work!
  • Which German romantic writer created the story upon which the Nutcracker ballet was based?
    • Hoffman. Based on E.T.A. Hoffman's 'The Nutcracker and the Mouse King' to be exact. Hoffman was the German writer of numerous fairy stories, with the 'Nutcracker' being his most enduring piece.
  • The Nutcracker opera was based on 'King Rene's Daughter' by which Danish dramatist?
    • Herz. Hendrik Herz was his full name. The opera is of course different from the ballet, a bit darker.
  • The Nutcracker ballet marked the first use of what instrument in an orchestral score?
    • Celesta. A celesta is a keyboard instrument, which produces sounds much like bells. Its name is French, meaning 'celestial'!
  • The main character of the Nutcracker is a little girl named Clara who receives a Nutcracker from a mysterious individual. What is his name?
    • Drosselmeyer. Herr Drosselmeyer is usually portrayed as an eccentric but kindly older gentleman who has come bearing gifts.
  • What is the name of Clara's naughty brother who breaks her beloved gift?
    • Fritz. Naturally, Fritz is jealous of Clara's prize toy, after all...every child wants a nutcracker for Christmas!
  • A death occurs in the Nutcracker ballet. True or False?
    • t. The Mouse King is killed after a fight between himself and the Nutcracker Prince. Clara hurls her slipper at the Mouse King to kill him. Not very resilient if you ask me...
  • Which of the following is not a dance of the Nutcracker?
    • Indian. These 'national' dances are all performed to the delight of Clara. My personal favorite is the Spanish dance, for the beautiful melody though, not the dancing. The Russian dance is the most exciting in the dance category!
  • What is the name of the Russian dance, the traditional dance of the Cossacks?
    • Trepak. The Trepak is an active dance that requires very strong legs, I would imagine.
  • Who dances with the Nutcracker Prince in the Pas de Deux?
    • Sugar-Plum Fairy. This is perhaps the most beautiful dance duet in the history of ballet, and the Sugar-Plum Fairy part is the second most sought after, behind little Clara herself. I hope you have enjoyed this little quiz, enjoy listening or watching the Nutcracker this Christmas season! (or the one coming up!)

Performance Dates and Times
All Performances at the Paramount Theatre

  • Friday, December 2nd, 2016 at 9:30am, 11:00am and 12:30pm School Synopsis (Student Tickets $5.00)
  • Friday, December 2nd, 2016 at 7:00pm
  • Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 at 7:00pm
  • Sunday, December 4th, 2016 at 4:00pm
  • Tickets Cost $16, $12(Students)
  • December 17th @ Dunn Center - Rocky Mount, NC
Note: All times are approximate and are subject to change.