The Russell Ballet Nutcracker

An Unforgettable Performance


Photo courtesy Google via Creative Commons

Abigail Hummer , Writer

The Nutcracker is a well known performance in the dance world. Just about every studio has some variation of the Nutcracker. Home of the Fairfax Ballet, Russell School of Ballet is one of the few companies who tell the the true story from start to finish. No embellishments. No genre variations, just ballet.

Head of the main office at Russell Ballet, Jamie McNulty, shared that “this year happens to be our 25th anniversary performance. Not 25 years, but we have performed it 25 different times. We used to do the performance every other year”. Rehearsals start very early in the year for staff as well as dancers. “Planning starts in the summer for the choreography, role assignments, and prop settings,” she adds. This particular performance done by Russell Ballet  has been written about in various articles and newspapers such as the Washington Post. “We are quite proud of our Nutcracker, it is one of the only full length Nutcrackers’ in the area that stays true to the story”.

    Many students haven’t seen the full performance at all. Unlike many of her classmates, freshman here at Battlefield and fellow dancer Riley Wick, says that “[she] has been going to see the Nutcracker every year since [she] was 8 years old and this year will be [her] 8th time”. But not only dancers go out to see the performance. Kailie Scott, a sophomore at Battlefield, went out to see it and can say that “the appearance of the Sugar Plum Fairy was [her] absolute favorite part in the show”.  

For those who are unfamiliar with the performance, the nutcracker is a classic tale told for many years. It begins with a little girl, Clara, and her brother, Fritz, at a party on Christmas eve. All of the guests are arriving and chattering among themselves. Then, mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer enters, baring gifts for all the little children. Bears, dolls, and little drum sets were given to all the children, except clara. Uncle Drosselmeyer eventually finds a doll for clara, but this is no ordinary doll, it is a nutcracker. Clara falls in love with it and dances around. Fritz however, becomes jealous and takes the doll from her and breaks the arm off. Drosselmeyer takes the doll and wraps the arm in a bandage made from the ribbon in Clara’s hair and gives it back to clara as she falls asleep. She dreams of mice, soldiers, dancing candy canes, snow queens, sugar plum fairies, and a prince! Soon it is time for clara to wake from the dream and land back in reality. She awakens from her dream and finds herself by her Christmas tree with her beloved Nutcracker, fixed arm and all.

The Nutcracker is a timeless, classical performance done by a multitude of dance companies all over the world. It is a wonderful piece to be watched by all ages, infants to adults. Come support the Russell School of Ballet Nutcracker on November 26th, 27th, and December 9th!