The Christmas Nutcracker

The Christmas Nutcracker

Did you know that most American Christmas traditions got their start in Germany?  That includes the Christmas Nutcracker.

Yes, even though it was a Russian, Peter Tchaikovsky, who composed the Nutcracker ballet, it comes from a German story by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann.  In 1816 Hoffmann wrote The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.  Tchaikovsky's ballet borrows significant element from that tale

Marie and her brother Fritz are at a Christmas Eve party.  She wonders what kind of present their godfather, a clockmaker and inventer, has for them.  She admires a nutcracker figurine, which Fritz breaks.  Marie takes a ribbon from her dress and bandages the nutcracker which she then takes to bed with her.  In her dream, the nutcracker comes to life.  He battles an army of large mice and just as the rodents about to defeat them, Marie throws her shoe at the Mouse King, saving the Nutcracker.  She is rewarded by being shown a magical land by the Nutcracker, now transformed into a Prince.

For 200 years since, nutcrackers are a traditional Christmas ornament in Germany and all over the world.  And for the 125 years since Tchaikovsky's composition, the Nutcracker Ballet also is a Christmas tradition.  The Nashville Ballet hosts 15 performances between the 1st and 23rd of December at TPAC's Jackson Hall.

To make this Christmas tradition especially memorable, visit the Bavarian Bierhaus before the evening performance or after the afternoon matinee.  And while you're here, buy an authentic nutcracker, hand made in Seiffen, Germany and available in the Bavarian Bierhaus' gift shop.  Who knows what enchanted dreams you might have.


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