The Soldiers of Nutcracker

In Clara’s dream, an army of toy soldiers come to life to aid the Nutcracker in his battle with the King of the Mice. It’s a well-organized army made up of four different ranks: officers, infantry, artillery, and cavalry. Both their choreography and their uniform (costume) illuminate their distinctive ranks.

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)
San Francisco Ballet School students as officers in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

Two officers lead the charge, marching neatly out of the toy cabinet carrying a flag and a drum. You can tell their rank by their high boots, their black helmets and sash, and the embellishment on their coats.

San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson's Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson
San Francisco Ballet School students as infantry in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

The infantry marches in perfect unity in striped trousers. Each is armed with a (wooden) rifle. This group handles most of the actual fighting with the mice. Their helmets are blue, with red-and-white tassels.

San Francisco Ballet School students as artillery in Tomasson's Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)
San Francisco Ballet School students as artillery in Tomasson’s Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)

When the situation looks dire, the artillery brings out the big gun (literally). Their uniforms are similar to the officers’, but with a pink sash and longer red-and-white streamers on their helmets.

San Francisco Ballet School students as artillery in Tomasson's Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)
San Francisco Ballet School students as artillery in Tomasson’s Nutcracker.
(© Erik Tomasson)

The cavalry (at right in the above photo) charges in on horseback, with swords raised, to battle the mice in hand-to-hand combat.


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Header image: SF Ballet in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

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