- from Clement C. Moore's "The Night Before Christmas"
I have never seen a sugar plum nor dreamt about them, but my encounters through poetry and literature tell me they are incredibly delightful and associated with Christmastime. With all this Christmas imagery, I thought we could resume our Nutcracker journey and fly to the Land of Sweets: that confectionary dreamland ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy.
The original 1892 libretto (by Marius Petipa for the Imperial Mariinsky Theater in Russia) had Clara and the Nutcracker Prince travel by dolphins (pulling their nutshell boat). I think we can take an even bigger leap and have them pulled through the air by swans instead!
Photo collaboration with Jill Adams of Street Style London
|En route to the Land of Sweets|
Swan image: me again, studio photo by Jun Yang Photography
Photo Art: Jill Adams of Street Style Polka Dot
The second Act of the ballet is one of celebration within the Land of Sweets, where candy, chocolates and flowers honor Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. Here, I'd wager the "Waltz of the Flowers" is one of the most recognizable pieces of music Tchaikovsky ever wrote. Even non-ballet goers are familiar with it. Moreover, this is the dream role for most young ballerinas for whom the Sugar Plum Fairy role is as elusive a fantasy as candy floss for breakfast. Who wouldn't want to be waltzing with Dewdrop while swathed in frothy pink tulle?
"Waltz of the Flowers" in Balanchine's Nutcracker, New York City Ballet
The fast tempo of this version is characteristic of Balanchine, whose choreography tends towards fast footwork and near athleticism. Technically impressive -- but not my favorite rendition. However, I think they have the best Flower costume of all the productions! The whirling layers of tulle look so much like flowers blooming! And their Candy Land set is the stuff kids' dreams are made of.
Many thanks to blogger, Jill of Street Style London, and her brilliant idea of creating photo art out of my ballet images. I feel this is a kind of Christmas present in itself! She recently posted one of her photo montages of my swan image on her blog. You can see it here. This is one of the things I love about the blog world -- that people who have never met (yet) can form online friendships, akin to pen pals of old, and collaborate with each other artistically.
What are your favorite sweets? I hope you get them this Christmas!