Sugar Plum Lilac Fairy?

sugar-plum-lilac-fairy-claras-coffee-break
Created with Wikimedia Commons Public Domain Image.

The Sugar Plum Fairy’s iconic variation music once was borrowed for another famous ballet character…

“The same tinkling celesta was interpolated for the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Princess, the 1921 Ballet Russes version of The Sleeping Beauty.”

Nutcracker Nation by Jennifer Fisher  p. 20

Quote on Swan Lake

“The poetic core of Swan Lake is the act two pas de deux, that perfect lost-in-the-forest encounter in which Odette and Siegfried unfold the secrets of their hearts to the exquisite dialogue of Tchaikovsky’s cello and violin. It’s this duet that defines the tone of the entire stage, and establishes the audience’s relationship with it.”

– Judith Mackrell, English National Ballet: Swan Lake – review, The Guardian, June 13, 2013

Tchaikovsky’s Cinderella?

tchaikovsky-cinderella-claras-coffee-break
Daydream of a poster created with Wikimedia Commons Public Domain image.

It could have been Tchaikovsky’s first ballet.

But, it wasn’t. It never came into being at all. Ann Nugent explains:

“In 1870 he had occupied himself with large-scale ideas about writing a four-act ballet Cinderella, though he seems to have abandoned them fairly quickly, leaving no trace of any music he may have written for it.”

Swan Lake, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 1985, p.14

Tchaikovsky, did, of course, later compose a mini version of the Cinderella story for the wedding scene in The Sleeping Beauty.

Here’s a clip of American Ballet Theatre‘s Courtney Lavine and Calvin Royal III performing to a piano arrangment of that piece in Alexei Ratmansky’s version of The Sleeping Beauty at Works & Process at the Guggenheim.

Do you wish Tchaikovsky had composed a full-length score for Cinderella?