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The Nutcracker - Waltz of the Flowers and Russian Dance by Tchaikovsky: An exciting introduction

Lemn Sissay explores two extracts from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker using facts and insight, beautiful animation and footage from the heart of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rafael Payare.

The story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King was transformed into a magical ballet in 1892 – and is now a Christmas favourite. The enchanting narrative is full of wonderful characters and follows a young girl called Clara who is given a wooden nutcracker as a present. The two extracts from the suite give us the chance to look at two very different dances - the whirling Russian Dance and the elegant Waltz of the Flowers.

Once you've seen the introduction film, watch the full orchestral performances of the music in the link below.

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6 minutes