Posts Tagged ‘Nutcracker’
It’s that time of year again: the Christmas carols are blasting in all the stores, Santa Claus is displayed in windows, and the holiday party invitations are rolling in. And despite all the celebratory diversity in the world today, what with Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanza, the recently-past Diwali, and a slew of other fabulous holidays also taking place in the winter: it’s easy to be consumed by the predominantly monotheistic marketing of the winter season. But it’s also easy to find the magickal and classically pagan traditions lurking beneath the thin veneer of the monotheistic Christmas holiday. From the origins of Christmas tree ornaments to the seemingly purely Biblical story of the nativity itself: these traditions come from ancient pagan times and older conceptions of magick and celebration. And if you look closely, you can see these lovely little esoteric gems sparkling through the already glittering displays of baby Jesus, Christmas elves, wrapping paper, and fake snow.
Case in point: the Nutcracker Ballet. I recently had the chance to observe the Fox Theater’s performance of the Nutcracker Suite in Atlanta, Georgia. For many, the Nutcracker is intrinsically linked with Christmas. Every year hundreds of theater companies around the world perform a variant of the classic Tchaikovsky ballet for children and adults alike. Though familiar with the bare bones of the story, I was much surprised to see how little the story actually had to with Christmas-Christmas. And how much more it had to do with the wider realm of Russian and Germanic faerie tale archetypes and the cosmic theory of different dimensions of being, an element shared with many mythological traditions around the world.