17 Jan 2011

Myer 2010 Christmas Windows

"Each year over one million Australians and overseas visitors view the iconic Myer Christmas Windows to see the specially selected theme - chosen from a story book, nursery rhyme, a film or even the theatre – brought to life in an animation spectacular that ignites the imagination and Christmas spirit in all.

Each year the new theme of the Christmas Windows remains a heavily guarded secret while the clever artists, animaters and craftspeople are creating their magic for over six months to bring this Christmas tradition to Myer’s many Christmas visitors.

The Myer Christmas Windows have in previous years brought to life Christmas stories including The Twelve Days of Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol and How Santa Really Works, Fairy Tales including Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Children’s story books including The Wizard Of Oz, Wombat Divine, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and last year’s theme Olivia Helps With Christmas."

And in the year 2010, here comes The Nutcrackers.

is a two-act ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King".

Act I
Scene 1: The Silberhaus Home
It is Christmas Eve at the house of Herr and Frau Silberhaus and their children. Family and friends have gathered in the parlor to decorate the beautiful Christmas tree in preparation for the night's festivities. Once the tree is finished, the younger children are sent for; among them are Clara, the Silberhaus' daughter, and her brother Fritz. The children stand in awe of the tree sparkling with candles and decorations.

The festivities begin. A march is played on the piano. Presents are given out to the children. Suddenly, as the owl-topped clock strikes eight, a mysterious figure enters the room. It is Herr Drosselmeyer, a local councilman and Clara and Fritz's godfather. He is also a talented toymaker who has brought with him gifts for the children, including four lifelike dolls—a Harlequin and Columbine, and a Vivandière and Soldier—who dance to the delight of all. Herr Silberhaus has the precious dolls put away for safekeeping.

Clara and Fritz are sad to see the dolls taken away, but Herr Drosselmeyer has yet another toy for them: a wooden nutcracker carved in the shape of a little man, used for cracking hazelnuts. The children are delighted. Clara immediately takes a liking to it. Fritz, however, tries to use the nutcracker to crack a walnut (too large and hard for its wooden jaw) and inadvertently breaks it. Clara is heartbroken.

Clara takes the wounded toy to her doll's bed, lulling it to sleep. The boys interrupt with their toy trumpets and horns. Herr and Frau Silberhaus announce it is time to finish off the evening with a traditional Grandfather dance. After the dance, the guests depart, and the children are sent off to bed.

During the night, after everyone else has gone to bed, Clara returns to the parlor to check on her beloved nutcracker. As she reaches the little bed, the clock strikes midnight and she looks up to see her Godfather Drosselmeyer perched atop the clock in place of the owl. Suddenly, mice begin to fill the room and the Christmas tree begins to grow to dizzying heights. The Nutcracker also grows to life-size. Clara finds herself in the midst of a battle between an army of gingerbread soldiers and the mice, led by the Mouse King. The mice begin to eat the gingerbread soldiers.

The Nutcracker appears to lead the gingerbread soldiers, who are joined by tin soldiers and dolls (who serve as doctors to carry away the wounded). As the Mouse King advances on the still-wounded Nutcracker, Clara throws her slipper at him, distracting him long enough for the Nutcracker to stab him.

Scene 2: A Pine Forest
The mice retreat and the Nutcracker is transformed into a handsome Prince. He leads Clara through the moonlit night to a pine forest in which the snowflakes dance around them (the Waltz of the Snowflakes is the best known snow dance of many inspired by the Grand ballet of the snowflakes from Offenbach's Le voyage dans la lune, scene 15.

Act II
Scene 1: The Land of Sweets (Confiturembourg)
Clara and the Prince travel in a nutshell boat pulled by dolphins to the beautiful Land of Sweets in Confiturembourg, ruled by the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Prince's place until his return. The Prince recounts for the Sugar Plum Fairy how he had been saved by Clara from the Mouse King and had been transformed back into a Prince.

In honor of the young heroine, a celebration of sweets from around the world is produced: Chocolate from Spain, Coffee from Arabia, and Tea from China all dance for their amusement; Candy Canes from Russia perform an intricate hoop dance; Danish Marzipan Shepherdesses perform on their flutes; Mother Gigogne has her Polichinelle children emerge from under her enormous skirt to dance; a string of beautiful flowers perform a waltz. To conclude the night, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier perform a Pas de Deux.

A final waltz is performed by all the sweets after which Clara and the Prince are crowned rulers of Confiturembourg forever and are shown the riches of their kingdom domed with an enormous beehive.

source: Myer & Wikipedia

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