Conwell Students Reflect on The Nutcracker

Characters from The Nutcracker, Dancers of Pennsylvania Ballet | Photo: Dave Moser

Yasmeen Felton

December 15, 2015

Conwell Middle Magnet School

Grade 6

The Nutcracker

Last Friday, I visited the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, PA for the very first time.  I also saw a live ballet performance for the very first time.  It was an amazing experience.

First of all, I really enjoyed the live music that was played by an orchestra at the Nutcracker.  I was impressed by the number of people and of all the different instruments that were played such as trumpets, a piano, violins, and flutes.  The sound of the music was loud and powerful and somehow matched the mood as each part of the Nutcracker story unfolded.

My favorite part of the ballet was when the Nutcracker fought the Mouse King.  It was an exciting fight and the music made it even more thrilling.  The fight scene was filled with suspense because I didn’t know who was going to win!!

When we entered the beautiful theater, I was so excited and did not know what to expect. A part of the ballet I specifically enjoyed was when Marie woke up and she was outside in the snow.  Another one of my favorite parts was when the guy with the pirate eye patch took Marie’s Nutcracker while she was sleeping.

In conclusion,I enjoyed the ballet immensely and I hope to see it again next year!


Hawa Barry

December 15, 2015

Grade 7

The Nutcracker

Every Christmas is not exactly the same as other families when it come to mine. That’s only because I’m Muslim, and we don’t celebrate Christmas. Or Hannukah. Or Kwanza. So instead of opening presents on Christmas Day or lighting the menorah each day for 8 days, we go to the movies during Winter break every year. The first year we went was 2011, which was when my 3 siblings and I watched Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. In 2012… I believe we didn’t go that year. But the tradition lived on the next year. In 2013, my two brothers, best friend, and I watched the Disney wonder, Frozen. Last year, my brothers watched Big Hero 6 while my sister, best friend, and I watched the Penguins of Madagascar. My sister is already set on watching the 4th installment of Alvin and the Chipmunks this year! While it may not be the most common tradition, it’s definitely one I treasure.

The Nutcracker seemed to have a mix of everything. Drama, romance, and a hint of comedy. The Nutcracker was definitely memorable, especially the Snowflake Dance. I had to say my favorite part had to be when the tree suddenly grew and the Nutcracker came to life.  It was very mystical and it felt magical. At first, I’m just like: This tree is growing and the bed got bigger. Plot Twist! Even though it wasn’t the whole ballet, I still was enjoying every minute of it.

Here in Philadelphia, seeing Christmas sights in Center City is wonderful. In Center City, they set up a Christmas Village full of shops and sorts, even a big Christmas tree in place of the fountain at Love Park! There is plenty of events and plenty of things to see and do this time of year.

The ballet’s experience and mine aren’t really the same. Not only does the Nutcracker takes place in the past, but like I said, I don’t celebrate Christmas. So, in The Nutcracker, they had the tree, the presents, everything that you would typically do on Christmas, while I simply don’t just do all of that, but just the movies. There is some similarities in both, though. Such as the fact that you are close to friends and family you love, and spend some quality time with each other.


Conwell Middle Magnet School

Christopher Wu

December 15, 2015

The Nutcracker

My experience while watching the Nutcracker was amazing. I saw that the dancers enjoyed dancing and looked very happy, and this made me feel happy. The live music during the Nutcracker has a big affect on the ballet and it was really cool to see all the musicians below the stage. The music and lighting made me feel excited and successfully set the mood throughout the entire performance.

My favorite part of the ballet was when the Nutcracker was fighting the Mouse King.  It was cool seeing performers live and not on television or in a movie. At first, I thought my first experience at the ballet would be kind of boring and I wouldn’t know what was going on without the use of dialogue, like in a play. On the contrary, I understood the ballet’s story through the dancing, music, scenery, and theatrics.  Surprisingly, the ballet was very interesting to me and I was sad to see it come to an end. I am excited to see what my next ballet experience has in store for me!

The Nutcracker Ballet, compared to my holiday experiences, is way more traditional and fancy. For example, the families in the Nutcracker celebrated the holiday with their families and friends dressed in suits and gowns.  My family dresses very casual during our holiday celebrations.  We also do not have a gigantic tree that can become bigger and grow all the way up to the ceiling like the Nutcracker had. I wish we did!!


Christion Bullock

Conwell Middle Magnet School

Grade 7

The Nutcracker

My experience while watching the Nutcracker was a new one. I never really saw a live performance like that up close before. I’ve always seen these kinds of live performances on television.  I honestly just imagined and wished to actually see one in person one day, but never thought it would ever actually happen.  I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

I loved all the different dancing styles and the movements that the dancers did! My favorite part was all of the transitions from scene to scene. They made the walls look like a hologram or something and it was so cool! It was a little slow at first, but when the girl shrunk and the Nutcracker grew into a human sized toy I got really interested in the show and was literally on the edge of my seat.

The Nutcracker’s portrayal of the holidays compared to my personal holiday experiences is somewhat similar.  For example, when all the children danced around the tree when they saw all the presents reminded me of my own excitement when I see my gifts on Christmas morning. Also, the way that the brother and sister fought playfully reminded me of the way my brother and I fight.

Nevertheless, I thought that the music was great! I loved how the composer told all the musicians what to do by just using her hands. That must have taken a long time to learn and they truly did an amazing job.  I can not wait to attend another ballet in February!!









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