A comparison of principal costumes from production of The Nutcracker at the National Ballet of Canada with those of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet within the context of Euro-Western tradition

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Kristoff, Dianne
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Canada is the home of two internationally recognized ballet companies, the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Both companies maintain a tradition of presenting The Nutcracker during the Christmas season, a ritual that can be found throughout North America and increasing in popularity within Western Europe. The first objective of this study is to add to the limited body of knowledge of ballet as an art form by examining the similarities and differences in costumes of representative figures in the production of The Nutcracker between the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Further objectives document the history of The Nutcracker at the two ballet companies and examine the importance of the roie of the tradition within each production of the companies. The objectives were achieved using the historical method based upon the work of Skjelver (1971) and utilizing the classification systems of Schlick (1988) and Roach-Higgins & Eicher (1992). From archival sources, costumes of the four principal roles of The Nutcracker were analyzed for silhouette, design line, costume detail, color value, and volume. The importance of tradition to the two ballet companies was traced and a discernable connection was established. Canada's two largest ballet companies, established in distinctly different geographical locations, have approached costumes in a similar manner for productions of The Nutcracker. Each company has embraced the seasonal tradition of producing The Nutcracker.