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The Nutcracker began as a German fairy tale. It then became a Russian ballet, and now, in its latest incarnation, it has become an American ritual. Every year mothers from the suburbs surrounding South Bend, Indiana set out in their vans and SUVs to slay the rat king in a military campaign against the rats and everything they symbolize. Every year they volunteer their little boys and girls as soldiers in the culture wars so that they can defeat the rats of appetite and disorder and chaos by wielding the weapons of truth, beauty, and grace. The Nutcracker is the 21st century version of the Children's Crusade.
The Ballet Parking DVD supplements this analysis with footage of Nutcracker rehearsals and performances at Southhold Dance Theater, as well as interviews with the artistic directors and the people behind the scenes that make these yearly performances possible. The DVD also makes use of Soviet archival footage, which includes extraordinary shots of Lenin and train sequences that look like something out of Dr. Zhivago, as well as footage of riots during the American cultural revolution of the '60s. It even contains footage of Napoleon invading Russia taken from Soviet era feature films, as well as a soundtrack that is an anthology of the best music in the ballet repertoire. This book makes an ideal Christmas present for the culturally astute.
Chapter 1 Ballet as We Know It 1
Chapter 2 The Nutcracker and German Romanticism 13
Chapter 3 The Nutcracker Arrives in Russia 27
Chapter 4 Isadora Duncan and American Dance 37
Chapter 5 Isadora Duncan Arrives in Russia 65
Chapter 6 Duncan Returns to America 69
Chapter 7 Revolutionary Ferment 95
Chapter 8 Serious Consequences 113
Chapter 9 Formalist Reaction 129
Chapter 10 The Nutcracker is Reborn in America 145