Revision cards for those studying Matthew Bournes Nutcracker

cards for gcse dance theory exam- nutcracker -matthew bourne

  • Created by: natalie
  • Created on: 07-05-12 07:20

Who was the choreographer of the Nutcracker?

Matthew Bourne

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What was the Date that this version of Nutcracker

August 1992

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What dance styles are used in the Nutcracker?

Ballet and Contemporary

Also uses mimetic and realistic gestures to explain the story.

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What is the theme/Stimulus of the Nutcracker

This version of the Nutcracker is a coming of age christmas story of a young orphan girl.


First Love, Growing up and Dreams

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Who composed the music for Nutcracker and what is


Style - Classical Orchestral Ballet

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Describe the Aural setting of Nutcracker in detail

  • Lots of Melodies and Harmonies that help to tell the story
  • Full orchestra with lots of varied instruments
  • Waltz music and music inspired from other cultures including spain and russia
  • Lots of direct correlation with dancers action
  • toy instruments used
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What is the effect of the aural setting (sound,mus

  • Full orchestra builds tension and climax and makes the dance dramatic
  • Use of toy instruments adds reality to a childrens xmas party
  • Music inspired by different countries helps to set the scene and character development.
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Describe examples of relationship between accompan

  • Direct Correlation is used throughout.
  • In act 1 the music builds into a crescendo, at the same time an orphan accidently runs into Dr Dross. The music helps to make the action more dramatic.
  • Clara performs little runs and jumps with windmill arms and repeats this each time the same melody is played- direct correlation.
  • In the party the music has a military march, Friz and the boys salute as if they are in the army. The music inspires the action performed.
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accompaniment examples continued

  • In act 1 the orphans are given toys for xmas. The music uses toy instruments to make the scene childlike and realistic
  • When fritz plays with his toy gun sound effects are added to make a bigger sound and to have more effect
  • When the Nutcracker is revealed to be a man the music is very strong and powerful and the dynamics and actions of the men become very strong and masculine
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Who created the lighting for Nutcracker? and descr


Lighting is very theatrical to create atmosphere

Contrast in colour used helps to show the different worlds

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Describe an example of how and why the choreograph

  • dark, stark, white lighting in the orphanage creates a cold and uninviting scene that supports theme. A spotlight that comes on when matron claps highlights her character and shows her authority.
  • blue soft lighting gives the impression that they are skating on a frozen lake.
  • In contrast to the orphanage scene ,bright multi colours are used for sweetieland depicting a childs fantasy land.
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Who designed the costumes for Nutcracker? and desc


  • Lots of varied costumes to show characters.
  • Orphans- Victorian,Grey cotton smocks, Grey cotton short trousers
  • Sugar- Victorian, velvet, black party dress, big hair ribbon, white tights, black shiny shoes
  • Matron- striped high collar shirt with long heavy skirt, high stiff hat
  • Cupids- blue striped pjs, blonde wavy wig, glasses
  • Liquorich allsort -Colourful and over the top spanish style dress with sweet pattern
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How does the costume support the theme of Nutcrack

  • Varied costumes help to show character, gender, age and status
  • Orphans, Friz and Sugars costumes are victorian which sets era but Friz and Sugar have black velvet instead of grey cotton showing their rich status.
  • Matrons stiff and formal which complements the dynamics of her movements and her character. The over the top high hat represents her power.
  • Sweetie land dressed in the colours of the sweet they are representing, eg bouncer is a HUMBUG sweet so his costume is black and white stripes.
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How many sections and dancers are in the Nutcracke

There are 2 acts with 9 sections

There are 24 dancers

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Who designed the set for Nutcracker? and describe

ANTHONY WARD- Proscenium Arch

2 different worlds:

Orphanage World-

large grey cold room, tiled floor, oversize beds-clock-window,cracked wall. Only colour comes from party hats

Fantasy and dreams World

Frozen lake-  all white, oversize white feather and satin pillow

Sweetie land- Big glittery pink mouth that acts as entrance to sweetie land. Over the top stage filling wedding cake

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How does the Set Design support the theme of the N

  • Oversize props make dancers look small to support that they are children
  • props used such as party hats and tree support the theme of xmas
  • cracks in wall and large mouth act as exits /entrances for dancers
  • Big pillow and feather in fozen lake scene suggest that this is all a dream
  • Sets change in use of colours and props as the storyline develops- shows different worlds.
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What is the Physical Setting of the Nutcracker?


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Describe how the dancers/Choreographer uses the sp

  • Lots of linear pathways and space used. Friz and Sugar always dance in the middle infront of the orphans to show  elevated status
  • Matron. Dr Dross always enter and exit from same side indicating that there is a door. Makes scene more realistic.
  • Matron dances in the middle and the centre whilst Orphans dance around her. Supports elevated status.
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Describe the dynamics and actions used in the Nutc

Dynamics and actions differ with each character:

  • Friz- Facial expression is very over top and humourous. He performs jumps, kicks and leaps in a childlike and carefree manner. His dynamics are sharp and energetic like a little boy
  • Gobstoppers- perform big bold sharp hip thrusts, press ups, jumps and leaps to the floor to show off thier masculinity
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dynamics actions continued

  • Lots of mimetic gestures to help tell the story. orphan pretending to be a doctor sewing up nutcracker, patting forehead, pretending to put mask on
  • Nutcracker- When nutcracker comes to life he performs stiff jointed walks and reaches showing that he is wooden doll
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Thanks for sharing one of the best posts I’ve ever read on the internet. wordle 2

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