Create and Dance Nutcracker Explorer

During this course you'll take your class through the basics of motif-development and character dancing - completing the programme with your very own piece of choreography.

This is the start of your five-lesson project. Although there are five lesson plans offered, this can be delivered across any timeframe (it could be five days or five weeks).

Each of the lessons is accompanied by a film, which will support and enhance your creative process. In these films, members of The Royal Ballet will share important strategies that will help you and your children create a successful dance.

As you go through the lesson plans, you will notice that your students are referred to as dancers. Everyone involved in this project will be a dancer and at times a choreographer. You, the teacher, will be the creative director!

Before you begin working with your dancers, think of where your dance will be performed as a conclusion to the project. Think creatively about where this performance can take place – it doesn’t have to be in a theatre. A school hall, a classroom, the yard or school field are all possible performance venues. The event might be a school assembly or summer fête, a Christmas show or even a less formal performance offered up to another year group in a classroom. You can then roll out the lessons with the chosen performance opportunity as the focus for the project.

  • Explorer Lesson 1: Getting Started

    60mins

    Requirements

    • Means of capture
    • PE kit and bare feet
    • Music
    • Clear empty space
    • Lesson Film
    • Choreographic ideas

    This is the start of your five-lesson project. During the first lesson, you will explore the characters and themes of The Nutcracker and devise some useful motifs that you’ll be able to build on as the project progresses. Each lesson will include activities that will help create and refine the dance you and your dancers are working on.

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Getting Started
      10mins
    • The Nutcracker Story
      5mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Getting Started
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Choosing a Theme
      20mins
    • Performance and Evaluation
      10mins
    • Ballet Cool Down: Port de Bras
      5mins
  • Explorer - Lesson 2: Developing Movement Patterns

    60mins

    Requirements

    • Means of capture
    • Record of last performance
    • PE kit and bare feet
    • Music
    • Clear empty space
    • Lesson Film
    • Choreographic ideas

    In this lesson, you'll be developing movement patterns. Movement patterns, as per the PE Curriculum, involve various body parts in a series of movements that can be repeated in a pattern. The term 'motif' will also be introduced. Motifs are the building blocks of choreography – a short phrase or a movement that is related to the theme of the dance.

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Developing Movement Patterns
      10mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Getting Started
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Developing Motifs
      20mins
    • Performance and Evaluation
      10mins
    • Ballet Cool Down: Port de Bras
      5mins
    • Plenary
      5mins
  • Explorer - Lesson 3: Exploring a Character

    60mins

    Requirements

    • Means of capture
    • Record of last performance
    • PE kit and bare feet
    • Music
    • Clear empty space
    • Lesson Film
    • Choreographic ideas

    In this lesson, the focus will be on developing the characters that populate your dance and also thinking about how you are using the performance space to enhance the development of your dance.

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Developing Character
      10mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Character and Intention
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Developing Pathways
      20mins
    • Performance and Evaluation
      10mins
    • Ballet Cool Down: Port de Bras
      5mins
    • Plenary
      5mins
  • Explorer - Lesson 4: Working Together

    60mins

    Requirements

    • Means of capture
    • Record of last performance
    • PE kit and bare feet
    • Music
    • Clear empty space
    • Lesson Film
    • Choreographic ideas

    In some of the most famous ballets, the corps de ballet are required to move all together, making the movements exactly the same. It’s really challenging, but it looks really effective. Thinking about a very particular aspect of The Royal Ballet’s performances, this lesson supports the dancers to enhance their team working skills, exploring unison and canon to develop the dance.

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Working Together
      10mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Together
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Unison Phrases
      20mins
    • Performance and Evaluation
      10mins
    • Ballet Cool Down: Port de Bras
      5mins
    • Plenary
      5mins
  • Explorer - Lesson 5: Performance Skills

    60mins

    Requirements

    • Means of capture
    • Record of last performance
    • PE kit and bare feet
    • Music
    • Clear empty space
    • Lesson Film
    • Costumes

    After weeks of hard work, perseverance and lots of fun, it is time for your dancers to perform!

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Performance Skills
      10mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Performance Skills
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Final Rehearsal
      20mins
    • The Final Performance
      20mins

Create and Dance is generously supported by The Sackler Trust