Tag - nutcracker

1
Nutcracker Peg Dolls
2
Nutcracker Fun for Everyone
3
One More Dream Fulfilled
4
Happy Sigh
5
Dreams, Fulfilled

Nutcracker Peg Dolls

I couldn’t help it, I had to make another set of Nutcracker toys for Pipsqueak.  The paper ones are fun, but let’s face it – he’s a 4 year old who is going to be rough on paper.

So I created these peg dolls.

I started off with sketching my ideas for the costumes, front and back.  I decided to go with the traditional Waldorf  idea of only putting eyes on the faces.  Mostly because faces are so darn hard.Nutcracker Sketch

Clara, the Nutcracker Prince and Drosselmeyer are based on Pumpkin Girl’s and the cast of Ballet Idaho’s costumes from last year.  Clara is a brunette, of course.  She always will be, in our house.

Clara and Nutcracker

Fritz was inspired by Pumpkin Girl’s costume with her ballet company, also from last year.

Nutcracker Peg Dollsabove: Rat King, Drosselmeyer, Clara, Fritz, Nutcracker Prince, Soldier

I got the idea for the Rat King from the dolls on tumblr here: Biciclette.And the soldier was inspired by this blog: Everything Etsy

Soldier and Rat KingPipsqueak loves his new set of Nutcracker friends.  They wage epic battles all over the house.  The Nutcracker usually wins.

Pipqueak with Peg Dolls

Nutcracker Fun for Everyone

October is here and for the first time in several years we are not completely overcome with the madness that is Nutcracker Rehearsal Time.  Pumpkin Girl has chosen to only participate in one Nutcracker production this year which leaves our Sundays completely free.  Bip and Boo are no longer playing soccer, so even our Saturday schedule has lightened up.

With last year’s All Nutcracker, All the Time schedule, Pipsqueak became quite enamored of all the characters.  He said he even wants to be the Rat King when he gets older. For now, he has his very own Nutcracker stuffed friend from Build-a-Bear, a gift from his godparents, and he was eyeing the custom dolls I had made for Pumpkin Girl, until she put them out of reach.  Not before he manage to straighten one of Clara’s curls, though.PipsqueakWithNutGuy

I went in search of some sort Nutcracker toys that I could make for him, but there isn’t really a whole lot out there.  Most everything is decorative, for display only. But I did find these really cool paper puppets. And even better, Clara is a brunette like Pumpkin Girl and the Nutcracker Prince has a similar costume as her prince.

(This is the point where she would say, “Mom, I can’t believe you’re talking about Clara again!”  Tough.)

Nutcracker Paper DollsHere I have them artfully posed just like in the pas de deux  that Pumpkin and her Prince dance. (Shush, honey, this is MY blog!)

FritzAndDrossThe Fritz paper doll looks nothing like Pumpkin, but that can’t be helped.

What I like about these is that I can print them out at home (I used card stock) and use mini brads that are easily found in craft stores.  And if they get ripped, I can easily make more.

The only thing is that Pumpkin Girl decided they are for her, so I need to make another set for Pipsqueak.  I may try laminating them with my Xyron machine first.

NutcrackerPaperDollsYou can purchase these paper puppets, including a stage at this link right here: Nutcracker Suite Puppet Theater

 

One More Dream Fulfilled

Pumpkin Girl has danced in her ballet school’s pre-professional company’s Nutcracker for the last three years. She’s been a tumbler in the Mother Ginger scene, a party girl, a battle soldier, and a ribbon girl. CharlotteSoldierAnd for the first two years, the role of Fritz was actually played by an actor. He did a great job until last year when they decided to use a dancer – a girl- in the role, and that started Pumpkin Girl thinking.

In her company’s Nutcracker, Fritz is a big role. He doesn’t disappear after the party scene, but follows Clara back to the family room and they both fall asleep near the Christmas tree. He helps her fight off the rats in the battle scene and then accompanies her to the Land of the Sweets, staying with her through the entire show. The role requires good acting skills, as Fritz provides the comedy relief for the whole show. And with a dancer in the role, Fritz now dances  in the Winter Scene, as well as the whole Russian variation.

Pumpkin Girl set her sights on being Fritz and thought about it all winter long and through the spring. She couldn’t figure out how to let her artistic director know she wanted the job, because part of being a company dancer (in any company) is that you accept the role you are given and do your best. And yet, this was a role that not every girl would even want. Plus, she knew that the previous girl Fritz had been given the rare chance to turn it down. So maybe, just maybe, it would be OK to ask. Because wouldn’t it be sad for the role to go to someone else because the director didn’t even know Pumpkin wanted it? She asked the advice of her favorite ballet teacher, who also happened to be her Broadway dance teacher. She was the one who’d cast Pumpkin as both Sebastian in “Under the Sea” and as The Artful Dodger in “Consider Yourself.” She understood Pumpkin’s love for acting, knew her ballet skill and worked closely with the artistic director. With her guidance, Pumpkin wrote a letter letting the AD know that if she needed a new Fritz, Pumpkin would love the job.

And then we waited. All summer we talked about it. Was her dancing good enough? What if last year’s Fritz wanted to be Fritz again? What if they brought in an actor again? What if they gave it to another dancer?

It was a long summer.

And finally, early in August, the day came. A dancer/parent company meeting was held, with the casting list to be posted afterwards. I swear that meeting took forever and I was a tense mess the whole time. The meeting ended and I did a great job of not tearing down the hallway with the rest of the dancers.

I’m sure you know where this is going.

Pumpkin Girl was indeed cast as Fritz and I cried, because that’s what moms do. I even made the moms of her friends tear up because I was so happy.

FritzCostume

Her company’s Nutcracker was two days before Christmas. They sold out two shows, a total audience of over 3,000 people. And she was amazing, absolutely amazing. Every person who talked to me afterwards told me what a wonderful job she did. She was a lovably naughty Fritz and laugh out loud funny.

Clara and Fritz in the same year! That girl never ceases to surprise me. This was the best Nutcracker season ever.photo(24)

Five days later, she turned 13 years old.  It was a banner year for her.

(And incidentally, I will have a teenager in the house, without a break, for the next 19 years.)

Happy Sigh

It was an amazing weekend.

So many memorable moments from backstage, but they are Pumpkin Girl’s stories to tell.  As for me, I was an emotional mess in the final 10 minutes before the show and the long, long overture.  And then she ran on stage to see the Christmas decorations in her house and it was nonstop from there.  She was amazing in every way and I just sat back and enjoyed every minute.  Two hours later and it was over too soon.

Then on Sunday I was offered the chance to sit backstage and watch the whole show – and I did! It was equally as wonderful, but in a different way.  I had my camera ready for the moment it was all over.  I took this picture of my beautiful girl at the close of her first major leading role.  My Clara and her Nutcracker Prince.

ClaraAndPrince2.1

Happy sigh.  I am so proud of her.

Dreams, Fulfilled

The first time I ever saw “The Nutcracker” I was about 8 years old.  My imagination took over and I spent the next several days dancing around my living room in my white nightgown, pretending to be Clara.  I never really wanted to be a dancer, though.  We went to see “The Nutcracker” at least once more during my childhood and that was that.

Years later I find myself as the mother of a dancer.  When we moved to Colorado she had the opportunity to audition for the local production of  Nutcracker.  Like so many other young girls, she had dreams of Clara. Maybe, someday, when she was just a little older.

She was a sheep in the shepherd scene that first year.  Nothing cuter than a line of dancing sheep, linking arms like they are little swans.  The next year she was part of what is called the “mini variations” – smaller versions of the Chinese, Arabian, Marzipan and Russian dances.  Mostly they just run around in the finale, looking cute.

133912_1778520107102_3095953_o

The next couple of years she was a party girl, one of the most sought after roles.  The party scene is the longest one that the children dancers participate in and the girls wear pretty dresses and boingy fake curls.  The party scene is a lot of fun, but I really don’t remember much of it because I was mostly watching Pumpkin Girl.

Actually, I’m kind of a nervous wreck right before she goes on.  And Nutcracker has the longest overture ever.  EVER.  Seriously, cut to the chase and let’s see my girl! I knew exactly which family she was a part of and when she was coming on. Poor Boo, who usually sits next to me, has to deal with the death grip I have on his arm and me whispering, “There she is!  There she is!  Do you see her?”

NutcrackerParty

It’s tough as a mom, having to sit back and watch and wait.  I’m so glad none of my kids are Olympic level competitors.  I don’t think I have it in me!  I remember the first time Pumpkin had a lead role.  Her Broadway class was doing “Under the Sea” from “The Little Mermaid,” which is Sebastian’s song.  And Pumpkin was Sebastian.  Her number was first in the show and since the kids were actually singing as they danced, she had the only speaking part in the whole show as she told Ariel that “the human world is a mess, life under the sea is better than anything they’ve got up there!”

530265_3999116340620_1148146682_n

I was a wee bit tense as the lights went down and the stage was lit with a dreamy, ocean backdrop.  I knew she was standing riiiiight there, behind the curtain, waiting to side-walk on.  I think Boo’s finally getting feeling back in his arm, two years later.

And then last year, she was asked to join the Beginning Broadway class as The Artful Dodger in the song “Consider Yourself.”  That just happens to be the Artful Dodger’s song, by the way.  And due to an administrative mistake, her tap number was right before “Consider Yourself.”  She had to leave tap a few seconds early, stage left, in this costume…

tap (3602)

And reappear, stage right, in time to take the lead in this costume…

 Dodger(3605)

I don’t think I even breathed from the moment she left the stage until I saw her pop out and I quickly checked to see that she’d gotten the whole costume on correctly.

Seriously, dance momming is not for the weak of heart.

Anyway.  Back in August she trudged off for yet another Nutcracker audition.  She thought she did well, but who really knows with these things?  Casting took forever – forever!!!- to be posted.  The wait nearly killed me.  It was far worse than waiting to see if she’d remember to exchange her tap shoes for jazz shoes before reentering the stage.

And I convinced myself of all sorts of things.  Or tried to.  Yes, she has wanted to be Clara for a couple of years now, but most girls will not be Clara and they all go on to live normal, healthy lives, right?  And really, Clara is a lot of work.  And she needs to use her own curled hair, not fake and wow, I don’t want to even attempt to get her hair to curl like that.  And seriously, I am never going to be able to sit in that audience and wait through that interminably long overture and not burst into tears.  No, don’t really want her to be Clara, it would be much easier on me if she isn’t.

You know what happened right?

Pumpkin Girl is Clara.

Next weekend.

It takes me 2 1/2 hours to curl her hair.

Boo refuses to sit next to me.

Copyright © 2014. Created by Meks. Powered by WordPress.