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Word Count: 981
Ballet is an art form born out of the expressionism and creativity of the Renaissance period From the first ballet performed in 1580 to the present women have been portrayed as fragile and dependent on men One such ballet is The Nutcracker in which the girl-heroine Clara relies on the Nutcracker to save her from the evil Mouse King The first production of The Nutcracker was performed for critics public figures and members of high society and received lack luster reviews on December 17 1892 The story opens in the parlor of a middle-class German family the Stahlbaums during a party on Christmas Eve Excitement fills the air in anticipation of the nights festivities The Stahlbaum children shy Clara and her brother Fritz are caught in the enchantment of the evening Guests arrive and presents are exchanged all this is a typical Christmas scene until the magic begins Drosselmeyer Claras godfather arrives late with his nephew a boy near Claras age and a nutcracker for Clara Clara very much likes Drosselmeyers charming and courteous nephew and is also fond of her strange new toy With the last dance the party is brought to an end Clara unable to sleep creeps downstairs for one last look at her nutcracker She falls asleep on the sofa holding the nutcracker in her arms Clara is awakened to the peculiar sounds of scurrying and rustling The Christmas tree lights have turned on again as it grows bigger and bigger All of the toys including Claras nutcracker have come to life Suddenly mice invade the room with intentions to rob and plunder Under the leadership of the fearsome Mouse King the mice begin to attack the dolls The dolls retaliate under the leadership of the Nutcracker but are unable to fight off their enemy The Nutcracker left unharmed engages in a duel with the Mouse King He appears to be losing when Clara throws her slipper at the
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