The many faces of the Nutcracker: home winter Wonderland 200 years

The many faces of the Nutcracker: home winter Wonderland 200 years© RIA Novosti. Alex Vitvitskiy in fotobanka Mikhailova, especially for MIA «Russia today»

The most famous Christmas story «the Nutcracker and the mouse king» was published in December 1816. For two centuries the legendary work of Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann turned into a movie, cartoon, ballet and even Opera. It seems that no one playbill winter is not complete without this tale, which tend to get not only children but also adults.

Tale of tales

Their Christmas extravaganza 30-year-old Hoffman has created for children another, Julius Hitzig. The names of the first students, Marie and Fritz, are immortalized on the pages of this magical story, and good cross the Drosselmeyer is easy to guess the author. «The Nutcracker» was published in the book «the fairy tales of Karl Wilhelm Salice-Contessa, too, Friedrich de La Motte-Fouquet and E. T. A. Hoffmann».

This book is the first collection of children’s romantic works in German literature. Although I must say that the original story was not so festive as we used to perceive it today. Before you get into the Marzipan castle, heroes of Hoffmann was expecting a lot of dark plot twists and turns, which would be typed high-grade material for modern horror. However, the book was a success.

In 1818, the tale was the basis of quite childish in the sense of the works of Ernst Moritz Arndt — «king Rat, Biribi». In this short tale that takes just a couple of pages, not the Nutcracker, but spelled out in detail the negative hero – the Rat king, which is opposed to the simple German peasant.

With the growth of patriotism in the First world war «the Nutcracker» Russified. So Marie became Mary, and Fritz, being a negative character, bears a German name. In 1919, the ballet entered the repertoire of the Bolshoi theatre, and from 1966 entrenched tradition of annual performance of «the Nutcracker» on December 31. It was then left to become a classic of the Russian ballet scene version by Yuri Grigorovich. In it the main character becomes Mary, the party which performed brilliantly then prima Great Ekaterina Maximova. Grigorovich told not just a Christmas story, and the story of the transformation of a child into an adult, in the way that meets many dangers.

Since the filmmakers have repeatedly returned to the classic story. In 2011 Andrei Konchalovsky has released a full-length feature film in 3D. The Director admitted that working on this idea for 40 years. The picture was shot with a true Hollywood scale. The shooting took place in the UK and Hungary, and the budget of the film amounted to $ 90 million. However, the film with lots of special effects and American actors in the Russian hire is not paid off.

«The Nutcracker» remains a popular story and a relevant source of inspiration. For example, in the Russian Museum of decorative-applied and folk arts opened the exhibition «the Nutcracker. The Museum Is A Wonderful Reality.» Visitors wear special bracelets with a nut — key to the world of the Nutcracker through which they «discover» about forty of the objects of the exhibition. There are gingerbread house, and a mouse hole and the magical bridge boards with keys.

This winter in Moscow it is possible to visit the exhibition at the exhibition center, the ice show and even a musical on ice. Not to mention a whole heap of ballet performances, tickets for which, however, sold out long ago.


The many faces of the Nutcracker: home winter Wonderland 200 years© Photo courtesy of one of the organizers of the exhibition Olga Kineticsystems «Museum of wonderful reality» in VMDPNI