Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Ballerina Stockings from Tildas Vintereventyr

 Oh I think I forgot to mention that I have received the book some weeks back I was writing about before. There are just unbelievably lovely projects in it as always. I saw some samples on the web and thought I have my favorite project already but as I was going through the book I came across these lovely ballerinas. I knew exactly that this is what will be my favorite in this season.  It reminds me of the Nutcracker /ballet/  which I love and can never get tired of watching it at Christmas time. I got it on a tape with an illustrated story book for my 6th birthday and couldn't get bored of it since. As usual I was doing some digging and came across an unusual story regarding the origins of the Nutcracker.

The Legend

What today appears as a fairy tale of a young girl's magical dream began as a morbid story filled with dark undertones. E.T.A Hoffman, the author of "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," never intended the story to be for children, as his words portrayed a bleak view of humanity and relationships.
Published in 1816, Hoffman's tale would undergo revision by Alexander Dumas, eliminating much of the bitterness to adapt the tale as a children's story. The new version was read with interest by Marius Petipa, the senior ballet master of the Russian Imperial Ballet, who asked Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to compose a score for a full-length "Nutcracker" production.
The story would later be simplified, but with the music left intact, and was created as a holiday tale that has lasted for generations.
Hoffman's plot centers around a young German girl named Marie who lived in a loveless house. The only warmth in Marie's life is a strange love she holds for her Nutcracker doll, a gift from her Godfather Drosselmeyer at the family Christmas party.
At night after the party is over, hundreds of mice appear from cracks in the room, led by the vicious Mouse King with seven heads. He blackmails Marie into giving him all of her marzipan dolls by threatening to dismember her prized Nutcracker doll.
The Nutcracker eventually comes to life and attempts to fight off the Mouse King, but is easily beaten. Marie retaliates by throwing her slipper at the Mouse King and fainting immediately after. There was no outcome to the battle in this portion of Hoffman's tale.
The next time the reader sees Marie, she is lying in a pool of blood surrounded by her family and a doctor. She apparently has cut her arm on the glass of a toy cabinet that fell on her and she has nearly bled to death.
Instead of comfort, her family scolds her and sentences her to her room until she will admit that she is a naughty child. While Marie is recovering, Drosselmeyer comes to visit and ends up telling her another story about the Mouse King and the Nutcracker. Here Hoffman tells a story within a story:
The feud of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King is legendary according to Drosselmeyer. In the beginning, a beautiful princess Pirlipat is cursed to become forever ugly by the Mouse King's mother who is avenging the death of several of her sons at the hands of the princess' father.
The only way to stop the curse is for a brave and handsome man to find the hardest nut in the world, crack it with his teeth, and deliver the kernel to the princess to eat. To sweeten the hunt, the king has promised his daughter's hand in marriage and a grand money award to anyone who can break the curse.
At the final moment when the curse is to take effect, Drosselmeyer's nephew appears with the prized nut and offers her the kernel. The moment she swallows the nut, she turns into a breathtakingly beautiful woman.
At the same time, young Drosselmeyer becomes repulsively ugly with elongated features like those of a wooden nutcracker (hence the name). No one ever bothered to tell him that he would inherit the curse in place of the princess.
Instead of a fairy tale ending, the princess is repelled by Drosselmeyer's ugliness and has her father banish him permanently from the kingdom or face execution. In the commotion, Drosselmeyer accidentally steps on the Mouse King's mother and kills her, prompting eternal vengeance on the Nutcracker.
At this point, Hoffman returns to the main story, where another battle begins. This time, the Mouse King is killed by the Nutcracker and he sweeps Marie off into another kingdom where he is a prince. At the end of their journey through this wondrous place, which also turns out to be the end of the evening, Marie is brought back to her bedroom.
The story closes on a bright note as Marie meets and marries Drosselmeyer's nephew, but the abrupt ending and change of good fortune appear to be added on to disguise all of the bitterness in previous portions of Hoffman's story.

Interesting and very different to what we see in the ballet adaption. Mostly unbelievable that  such a sad story can turn into an all time Christmas favorite. I think the music and the dancing itself adds a lot to it. Sets the whole in a romantic and dreamy frame.
 {Ballerina stockings from  Tildas Vintereventyr}

 {Ballerina stockings from  Tildas Vintereventyr}

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