Nutcracker Schools Information

Journey back in time with English National Ballet to a frost-covered, gas-lit London, and join Clara, her Nutcracker doll and the magician Drosselmeyer in this traditional festive tale. Nutcracker workshops bring to life the eternally popular story and provide a magical, unmissable Christmas treat for all ages.

Below you will find information on the context, themes and cross-curricular links that English National Ballet’s production of Nutcracker offers. Tailored workshops for different Key Stages thread themes from the ballet into other curriculum areas allows students a deeper understanding of the artistic and cultural relevance of this work.

Schools Repertoire workshops for Nutcracker
Key Stages 1 - 2: Experiencing the magic...
An energetic workshop inspired by the action-packed encounters between toys and mice, magic and reality and Clara’s journey with her Nutcracker. This fun practical session explores the representation of character through movement qualities and dynamics. The workshop will look at basic ballet principles whilst encouraging students to think creatively about their use of space, shapes and levels in the body. Group and partner exercises will help with the development of team work and reflective skills.

Key Stages 3 - 5: Discovering the Nutcracker
This repertoire workshop allows students to learn specific phrases from Nutcracker, focusing on building technical and expressive performance skills relevant to both GCSE and A Level performance modules. Students will explore spatial patterns, contrasting movement dynamics and the embodiment of music qualities in the choreography of Waltz of the Flowers and Waltz of the Snowflakes. In addition, students are also encouraged to consider production values within this choreographed work. Opportunities for independent, group and partner choreography inspired by this exploration of the repertoire will strengthen students’ appreciation of the work.

Further opportunities to get involved…

Cross Curricular Links: Key Stages 1 – 5
1. Citizenship
• Cultural diversity of societies and their representation through dance
• National Character dances or Folk dance such as the Mazurka and Chardash and their use in classical ballet

2. Stories and Celebrations
• Character mime
• Festive celebrations of different cultures

3. Toys
• Children’s favourite toys from the past
• Puppets

4. Music
• The work of Tchaikovsky
• How musical elements such as dynamics, tempo and texture are used to communicate different moods and effects

5. Art and Design
• Set and costume design in theatre

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