My Nutcracker Story

December 16, 2014 at 2:20 pm 40 comments

*

once upon a time,

there lived a little girl

whose dream was to be in The Nutcracker,

to dance amongst the snowflakes, flowers and dolls

but

most of all to ‘live’ the role of Clara.

*

she practiced for hours and hours each day,

thought of nothing but ‘becoming the part’,

of the sweet little girl

whose gift from her grandfather

became a prince

and

captured her heart.

*

after two years of being a party girl and bunny,

and

watching Clara dance from the wings,

the day came to pass

when the cast sheet revealed

she would finally come

to realize her dream.

*

there were rehearsals in studios,

rehearsals on stage,

rehearsals with costumes and orchestra,

nights with no sleep,

big blisters on toes ~

she was living in a constant state of euphoria!

*

when opening night arrived it was quite the affair,

there was a dynamic which could not be contained ~

from the moment the strings played their very first notes

and

the red velvet curtain was raised.

*

the ballet began with a party and guests,

dancing and playing with toys ~

until a mysterious gentleman suddenly arrived

with his enchanted dolls for all to enjoy.

*

there was a very unique doll

set aside for last,

to be given to one special girl ~

the mysterious man had created a Nutcracker

for his granddaughter

to enrapture her world.

*

Clara was bewitched as she danced and danced,

till it was time for the party to end.

as the guests took their leave

the house became quiet ~

it was the moment to forge onward to bed.

*

BUT

Clara was restless,

unable to sleep

so she made her way down the stairs to the tree,

where her Nutcracker stood guard,

and

the clock struck midnight

with chimes hailing the beginning

of Clara’s magnificent dream.

*

the big stage came alive as the sets disappeared

and

the tree grew over twenty feet tall ~

there were regiments of soldiers,

a mouse king with four heads

and

scurrying mice…

some very big and a few very small.

*

then it happened ~ it came ~ the moment of surprise

when the Nutcracker became larger than life ~

he fought with his sword

and

his faithful soldiers behind him…

a battle… with no end in sight.

*

during all of the raucous,

Clara stood on the sidelines

watching

and

thinking of what she could do,

when a thought suddenly occurred ~

‘the mice king needs a distraction

why not throw something at him…

something handy…. like a …. shoe’?

*

SO

*

she grabbed her shoe,

aimed for one of the heads

and

threw as hard as she could ~

where upon the king turned away,

a sword met its mark ~

ending the reign of the mouse king for good.

*

Clara stood in disbelief as the soldiers and mice

walked away leaving nothing behind

but

a man

who moments before was her Nutcracker ~

now a prince leading her on a journey….

way into the night.

*

the end of act one saw the magical forest ~

a snow queen and her prince…

then

a flurry of snowflakes prancing on stage

with ‘snow’ falling from an overhead scrim.

*

~ Intermission ~

*

act two began with a ride in a sleigh

to the land of fairies, dancing flowers and sweets

and

a story of how Clara saved the Nutcracker’s life ~

broke the spell

of a doll he would no longer be.

*

after introductions were made,

the prince called upon

the kingdom to perform for his guest ~

the land of sweets

came bursting alive with dancing

and

classical music at its best.

*

as Clara and her prince sat

in a gazebo on stage right,

she knew in her heart

it was more than a ‘dream’ ~

the desire she felt was real…

the journey was real…

it was ‘who’

she was meant to be.

*

the young girl wanted to waltz along with the flowers,

wave a fan in black Spanish lace

and

pirouette in a tutu all around the stage

as the reed instruments in the orchestra played.

*

the last to perform was the sugar plum fairy

along with her cavalier ~

a pas de deux so beautiful,

so spectacular to watch

that Clara’s eyes began to well up with tears…

because

Clara knew ~ the young girl knew ~

the grande finale was about to begin,

when all the dancers performed one last time

and

bid farewell to her and the prince.

*

the end of the ballet brought curtain calls,

a dozen red roses with applause

and

stage hands taking apart the sets

and

packing away the props.

*

*

when the end of night

finally arrived,

the young girl laid awake in her bed ~

all she could see

were visions of herself

dancing around in her head ~

~ ~ ~

waltzing with flowers,

pirouettes in a tutu,

and

waving a fan in black Spanish lace ~ ~ ~

leaping through the air,

under snowflakes and candy canes

all around a magnificent stage.

*

clara two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*

post script:  I wrote this piece last year and I chose to post it again this year, however, I refined it a bit.  An edit here and an edit there – one year after the fact with fresh eyes and a few years of writing poetry under my belt (or shall I say under my tutu:)

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Entry filed under: a memory, a story, ballet, dance, dreams, feelings, life, love, Personal, poetry, The Nutcracker, thoughts, writing. Tags: , , , , , , .

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40 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nottooold2  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    This is effing cool. And YOU got to do this?? For real???

    Reply
    • 2. words4jp  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      I performed in the Nutcracker for 10 years. The first two I was a party girl and bunny (I actually danced with Sarah Jessica Parker:) – the second two years I was Clara and the remaining years I was a snowflake, flower, reed pipe and poodle (one of the dancing dolls from the first act.) Everything I wrote is real and actually happened.

      Reply
      • 3. nottooold2  |  December 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm

        Wow, that must have been a blast!!!!
        Can you believe I have never been to a real ballet? Fact. And I get to Chicago about once a year for the past 10+ years, still no ballet. I might need to make plans for it next time. 🙂

      • 4. words4jp  |  December 16, 2014 at 3:08 pm

        though I live in Chicago, I do not dance here. My dancing days are long gone. Another lifetime ago. you should go to a ballet at least once in your life – The Nutcracker is the most recognizable, meaning the story is not difficult to follow and the music is certainly familiar.

      • 5. nottooold2  |  December 16, 2014 at 3:29 pm

        I’m sure you dance in Chicago!! Maybe not professionally any longer, but your living room must surely have seen a pirouette or two. If only for the fun and feeling of it. At least, I hope so. 🙂

      • 6. words4jp  |  December 16, 2014 at 6:15 pm

        Always. Though the knees have no cartilage – this almost 50 year old body can still dance. That will never, ever change:)

      • 7. nottooold2  |  December 16, 2014 at 6:23 pm

        I love it!! 50 is the new 30 anyway.
        And even if you needed a wheelchair, you can always tip up on 2 wheels and do a kickass spin. 😉

      • 8. words4jp  |  December 17, 2014 at 2:28 am

        Yeh, right. If I execute a pirouette, it will be standing on one leg, half pointe and the other in passé (picture and inverted 4). And it will be at least a triple. Leaps and turns were my specialty. 💃

      • 9. nottooold2  |  December 17, 2014 at 11:20 am

        Now I’m jealous!! Not that I have a burning desire to do that myself, but it must have felt absolutely amazing to leap and fly like that. What a great experience. How cool. 🙂

      • 10. words4jp  |  December 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm

        Heaven is – 29:01 – on the stage by myself and at 30:52 the tree grows to over 20′ tall and I am jete’ing and grand jete’ing on the stage – this is heaven. pure heaven.

      • 11. nottooold2  |  December 17, 2014 at 3:57 pm

        There is a palpable joy when you talk about dancing and no question that you have wonderfully fond memories. What a blessing to have the talent and drive to hone that talent in such a beautiful and creative way. Too many times talent is wasted and squandered. And think about what you said for a second….You have been where few living creatures have been, Heaven. 🙂 Pretty damn sweet.

  • 12. ahhsioux  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    A favorite!! Thank you.
    I have a favorite “Nutcracker” haunt that I must attend each Christmas Season.
    Smiles.

    Reply
    • 13. words4jp  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:38 pm

      Thank you so much – I am happy you like it. I wrote a series of pieces last year, all based on scenes from the Nutcracker – I am thinking of reblogging them. 🙂

      Reply
      • 14. ahhsioux  |  December 16, 2014 at 8:23 pm

        Yes you should.

  • 15. Paul Handover  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Missed it last year thus so glad you decided to republish it. It’s fabulous.

    Reply
    • 16. words4jp  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you – it was a fun piece to write – the longest I have ever written and whatever possessed me to go for rhyme, i have not a clue – too many nuts in my head, I suppose:)

      Reply
  • 17. LadyPinkRose  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    *goosebumps* I have always wanted to be a ballet dancer, Kimberly, and to know you got to dance in the Nutcracker, gives me such great JOY. How cool! I really enjoyed this poem as well. Perhaps next life we dance together! (((HUGS))) Amy

    Reply
  • 18. syl65  |  December 16, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Magnificent Kim! I hope you do decide to reblog your other pieces ☺

    Reply
    • 19. words4jp  |  December 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      I do believe I will – stay tuned:)

      Reply
      • 20. syl65  |  December 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm

        Front and center ☺

  • 21. ladysighs  |  December 16, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Will be reading your adventure again and enjoying it again. 🙂

    Reply
    • 22. words4jp  |  December 16, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      Thank you:)

      Reply
  • 23. SwittersB  |  December 16, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Very sweet and now I have that little girl dancing around in my head!

    Reply
    • 24. words4jp  |  December 16, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      Blushing……..;)

      Reply
  • 25. InfiniteZip  |  December 16, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Have always love this story, thank you for your refreshment of beauty. It brought it all back to me. Blessings. Kim

    Reply
    • 26. words4jp  |  December 17, 2014 at 2:25 am

      Thank you. It was a special time and I miss it. Very much. A true gift I will always be thankful for….

      Reply
  • 27. Lily Lau  |  December 16, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Wow, what an experience you had! I love the nutcracker, and even more in a ballet 😀

    Reply
    • 28. words4jp  |  December 17, 2014 at 2:23 am

      Thank you;) they were 10 wonderful years. I wish sometimes I could go back in time…I still do, in my mind:)

      Reply
  • 29. Brenda Davis Harsham  |  December 17, 2014 at 2:27 am

    I’m going to the Nutcracker this year, and one of my good friend’s has a daughter who will perform. Yeah!! Years of work for her to get there, and not as Clara. 🙂 I am so excited!!! What is it about that particular ballet that never loses its magic? I am so jealous you danced like that. Sigh of longing for my lost youth. I will just have to boogie-woogie in the kitchen. LOL

    Reply
    • 30. words4jp  |  December 17, 2014 at 2:33 am

      I performed in the Nutcracker for 10 years. Amongst other ballets. Yes, a lot of hard work. I am obviously on the opposite end of the spectrum, meaning I had my career and I look back…it was worth it. All the ‘stuff’ was worth it. Because when I stood on the stage with a full symphony orchestra at my feet under the lights and the smell of makeup and rosin and sweat and bloody toes – I was in heaven. For me, this was heaven.

      Reply
      • 31. Brenda Davis Harsham  |  December 17, 2014 at 2:39 am

        I believe it. Your poetry about it is beautiful. As are you.

  • 32. The Presents of Presence  |  December 17, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I knew it must have been that you were Clara at one point in your life for we ballerinas always dream of being Clara. I am so happy you actually were able to dance this part and not just dream about it! Your poem had me right there in the moment with each stanza. I am so glad you reposted it so that I was able to go back and remember my younger ballet days which are no longer. Thank you. There is something so special about connecting today with your poem. Thank you. ♥

    Reply
    • 33. words4jp  |  December 17, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      I am very happy you enjoyed this piece – i am always very nostalgic at this time of year – for me the holidays were The Nutcracker. They were the best holidays I ever experienced. I miss them – so every year I travel back in time…I will be re-posting more – a collection of pieces I wrote last year for the ballet. thank you again:)

      Reply
      • 34. The Presents of Presence  |  December 17, 2014 at 1:20 pm

        I can’t wait to read them b/c as a ballerina, I remember how the holidays became even more magical at that time…it was your blistered toes etc that made that poem so real to me. Funny how we forget as we get older, but truly, your poem brought me right back to childhood ballet classes which I adored. Thanks for being such a great writer and sharing!

  • 35. lumar1298  |  December 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Ah! My favorite… Lovely story…

    Reply
    • 36. words4jp  |  December 17, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      thank you:)

      Reply
  • 37. nottooold2  |  December 17, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I love it when the strings come in at 29:01 and dominate for while and then the symbols ring at 30:52. (Smiling)

    Reply
    • 38. words4jp  |  December 17, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      i cry every time i hear it.

      Reply
  • 39. Mytwosentences  |  December 17, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Epically exquisite and superbly wonderful!

    Reply
    • 40. words4jp  |  December 18, 2014 at 1:50 am

      Thank you.

      Reply

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