The Nutcracker is the story of a girl named Clara (or Marie) who receives a wooden nutcracker on Christmas Eve from her godfather. She falls asleep on a sofa and dreams of a battle between toy soldiers and an army of mice. Clara helps the nutcracker to defeat the evil Mouse King and the nutcracker is transformed into a prince. Clara and the Prince float through the night to a magical winter forest where snowflakes dance. They proceed to the Land of Sweets where the ruler named Sugar Plum Fairy throws a party to celebrate the victory of Clara and the Prince over the Mouse King. One after the next, Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, Candy Canes, Reed Flutes, Ginger and Flowers are dancing. Even the Sugar Plum Fairy with her Cavalier perform dances for Clara and the Prince until they have to say goodbye and return home.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russian, 1840-1893) composed the ballet The Nutcracker in 1892. The libretto was written Marius Petipa. Lev Ivanov was the choreographer of the original production.
Just like Swan Lake, various alternative endings have been created over time. It is a magical ballet that enchants both, adults and children. The Nutcracker is especially performed during Christmas time and is one of the two most popular ballets worldwide.