Act One of The Nutcracker Ballet

A Party, a Battle, and Lots of Snow

Clara and The Nutcracker
Clara and The Nutcracker.

Gabriel Saldana/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

It was Christmas Eve, a night for magic. Anything could happen. Clara and her brother Fritz waited outside the door to the parlor. Their cousins crowded around. Would they capture a glimpse of the presents? Of the tree? ~ Vladimir Vagin

The Party Scene

As the curtain opens on the Nutcracker Ballet, music and merriment fill the house as the Stahlbaum family welcomes guests to their annual Christmas party. Clara and her brother Fritz dance and play together as many of their friends and family arrive. Suddenly, Clara’s mysterious uncle, Herr Drosselmeyer, appears with gifts. To everyone’s amazement, he introduces two life-size mechanical dolls that he has made that can actually dance. After their dances, Clara asks her uncle about her gift. She becomes upset when it appears he has no more presents. Like magic, he presents a toy nutcracker and Clara is overjoyed. Clara embraces her new gift. Her brother Fritz, however, becomes jealous and breaks the toy nutcracker. Clara is heartbroken. Uncle Drosselmeyer magically repairs the doll and Clara carefully places it underneath the Christmas tree. After the party, the house becomes quiet, but Clara can't sleep. She sneaks into the living room and falls asleep with the Nutcracker in her arms.

The Battle

As Clara sleeps and dreams, the magic begins. The Christmas tree grows enormous as Clara appears to shrink. Everything under the tree seems to come to life. Clara is awakened by a group of mice as they enter the room, led by an evil Mouse King. She tries to escape, but the Nutcracker springs to life with an army of toy soldiers. They defend Clara by battling the Mouse King and his army. When the Nutcracker appears to be struggling, Clara tosses her slipper at the Mouse King, knocking him down. The Nutcracker swiftly defeats the Mouse King. The mice scurry away, defeated, dragging their fallen leader behind them. Magically, the Nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince. The prince invites Clara to join him on a journey to the Land of Sweets.

The Land of Snow

Dancing Snowflakes welcome Clara and her Prince as they travel through the Land of Snow on their way to the Land of Sweets. To Clara's amazement, the enchanted forest is blanketed with beautiful snow. The Snow Prince, Snow Queen and Snowflakes dance for Clara and her prince, welcoming them into their winter wonderland.