This began as a production of
Tchaikovskys Nutcracker ballet as a way for Herr
Drosselmeyer to conjure up the wooden soldier nutcracker that he
gives to Clara in the piece. It needed to be simple enough for a
non-magician actor/ballet dancer to perform. The company was so
delighted with the appearance of the Nutcracker, that they wanted
to add some additional productions of gifts for the other
children in the ballet, so part two was added. Both productions
were based on the works of Louis S. Histed, the inventor of the Square
Circle. The Sentry Box was a variation of his Chinese
Pagoda Crystal Cylinder production, which seemed to me to be
an ideal shape for a Sentry Box for the Nutcracker Soldier.
However, I greatly simplified it so it could be produced by a
dancer whirling around the open stage with the box in his hands.
When the request came for a
continued production of small gifts from the same box, I went
back to Histed and borrowed his Tip-up Table
Load. My version looked more like an antique table that
Herr Drosselmeyer finds onstage in the background and pulls out
as a resting place for the Sentry Box when he presents the
Nutcracker to Clara. The mysterious appearance of the gifts
within the box was a topic of much conversation among the
children in the ballet who were not in on the secret, although
they saw it performed many times.
You don't need the ballet to
perform the production of the Nutcracker and subsequent gifts...
just Christmas. If Christmas isn't available, any Toy Soldier
will do at any time of year. Excerpts from The Magic of Louis
S. Histed are included.
Buy all 11 articles of this issue (#15)
of the Wizards' Journal $40.00
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article if purchased together!