Nutcracker Performance Ideas

These are new performance ideas for the Nutcracker.

Story of the Nutcracker

Tchaikovsky composer video

Chinese Dance with red, white and green paper plates

Trepak with scarves – regular light and black light

Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy with white paper plates

Waltz of the Flowers – multicolored paper plates

March from the Nutcracker – bucket drum

There are additional activities for the Nutcracker in Units – Festivals and Holidays – Happy Holidays Units.

Teaching Procedure

1 Nutcracker Story

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2 Tchaikovsky Composer Video

Watch the video to learn about the composer of the Nutcracker.

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3 Chinese Dance with red, white, green paper plates

This is a very simple choreography that you could do with your youngest students.

We filmed the video on a green screen, so used blue plates instead of green. (so you
can see them!)

The pattern is as follows:
1. circle with both plates 4 times
2. "march" the plates L R L R L R L R
ending: march up and hold

The pattern is done in this color order: red, white, green, white, red & green, all colors.
For the ending, "march" the plates up and hold

Invite your students to create new patterns!

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4 View a listening map for Chinese Dance

View a listening map for Chinese Dance

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5 Move with scarves to Trepak from the Nutcracker

Move with scarves to Trepak from the Nutcracker

A new video will be coming soon.

Try doing this with white scarves under black lights!

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6 Use white scarves under black lights for a really interesting performance of Trepak

Use white scarves under black lights for a really interesting performance of Trepak

The white scarves used were pieces of white netting purchased at a fabric store.

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7 Trepak - Audio Track

Trepak - Audio Track

8 Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Teach the rhythm pattern. Students could clap, tap or play it on instruments.
(The ending is a little different than the rhythm of the original work)

When students are confident, listen to the audio and play this pattern each time it occurs. Keep the beat on all other parts.

Intro - 4 measures (16 beats)
play pattern 3x
play beat for 16 measures, then rest during the "swirly" celeste part.
play pattern 3x
keep the beat for 4 measures (16 beats)

Give each student 2 paper plates, and copy the choreography in the video.

9 Audio for Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Use the audio to play along with the rhythm above.

10 Plate choreography for Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Copy the choreography in the video

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11 Learn the choreography for Waltz of the Flowers from the video

Learn the choreography for Waltz of the Flowers from the video

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12 Audio for Waltz of the Flowers

Audio for Waltz of the Flowers

13 Learn page 1 of March from the Nutcracker

Learn page 1 of March from the Nutcracker

14 Learn page 2 of March from the Nutcracker

Learn page 2 of March from the Nutcracker

15 Learn page 4 of March from the Nutcracker

Learn page 4 of March from the Nutcracker

16 Play along with the March from the Nutcracker video

Play along with the March from the Nutcracker video

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17 Black Light performance idea for March from the Nutcracker

Black Light performance idea for March from the Nutcracker

This took some experimenting.

Fluorescent spray paint on sticks and bucket was what eventually worked

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18 March of the Nutcracker - audio track

March of the Nutcracker - audio track