The stage was set for Jordan’s premier ballet show of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker after nearly two months of rehearsals for young children at the Amman School of Ballet school.
Nearly 120 children were accompanied on Friday (December 11) by 55 musicians from Amman’s Symphony Orchestra and 50 choir singers.
The fairy-tale ballet, usually played during the Christmas season, is based on the story ”The Nutcracker and the King of Mice” by E.T. A. Hoffman.
Organizers said training the children for the ballet was a daunting task.
“There is lots of local talent, but the problem was that the orchestra, which represents 80 percent of the show, was not ready for a show at this level, and training the children also took a long time,” said Murad Sweiss, an organizer of the show who founded the Amman School of Ballet with his wife Melissa in the spring of 2009.
Some of the participating children said Jordan needed a ballet school to give opportunities to local talent.
“I always wanted to be a ballet dancer since I was a little, but there were no places teaching ballet in Jordan when I was four years old but now I can do it – at the age of 11 – with Miss Melissa.” said Eman, one of the dancers.
Participating children admitted ballet dancing needs hard work.
“It’s a difficult hobby. You need to work hard to become a famous dancer,” said dancer Majd.
During a two-hour show, dancers performed the four main parts of the ballet: the party Scene, the Battle Scene, the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets.
The story centres on a 12-year-old girl, her brother and sister, who receive gifts from their clockmaker-inventor godfather on Christmas Eve, one of which is a Nutcracker doll.
That night, the girl embarks on an adventure that includes a war with a seven-headed Mouse King and his army of mice.
“This is a great idea particularly because I was one of the supporters of ballet dancing in my school. Ballet is a great art. It is becoming more popular in Jordan,” said Farah Saad, a mother and former ballet dancer.
The story of the Nutcracker has captivated many artists over the decades. It has been adapted into various forms of animated films while the ballet version has reached film screens many times
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