Septime Webre's Nutcracker Combines Holiday Traditions With American History
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The last date listed for The Nutcracker was Thursday December 21, 2006 / 2:00pm.
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Septime Webre’s vision was to create a production of The Nutcracker that would become a distinct part of the Washington, D.C. community. His Nutcracker is nuanced with references to Washington, D.C. as well as America’s rich history. “The Nutcracker has a special place in the hearts of Washingtonians--together we experience all the magic and warmth this holiday tradition has to offer,” Webre says.
This unique Nutcracker, choreographed by The Washington Ballet’s Artistic Director Septime Webre, features touches of Washington, D.C. and American history, while remaining loyal traditional story of The Nutcracker. It takes place in historic Washington, D.C. in 1882 at a Georgetown mansion. In Clara’s dream, the Nutcracker is George Washington, the Rat King is King George III, the rats are British Army Red Coats and the toy soldiers are a regiment of the Continental Army. Act II takes place on the banks of the Potomac River with the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom and various divertissements reflect images of Americana including the Coffee divertissement as a duet for two Anacostia Indians, the Trepak divertissement as American Frontiersman, and Mother Ginger’s skirt reveals a working American carousel with children as circus clowns. The ballet is set to Tchaikovsky’s sweeping score.
“Washington, D.C. has such a unique character and is a symbol for our collective American heritage,” Webre says. “Threading these elements through the story of Clara and her journey seemed to offer a specific and special point of view that would resonate for Washingtonians for years to come.”
While The Washington Ballet’s Nutcracker is perfumed with a Washingtonian flavor, the story line and choreography itself remains true to the ballet’s traditions. The scenario focuses heavily on the story of its central character, Clara, and the dancing provides significant technical challenges for the professional company and choice roles for students of The Washington School of Ballet to grow into.
“I wanted to accomplish two main goals with this production of The Nutcracker: to tell the compelling story of Clara, a young girl on the cusp of womanhood, who takes a magical journey and reaffirms the importance of wonderment,” explains Webre. “I also wanted to create a work of brilliant, neoclassical energy, which challenges the dancers and entertains and delights young people as well as seasoned ballet goers.”