Create and Dance Nutcracker Immersive

Join Blue Peter presenter Radzi Chinyanganya, as he goes on a ten-week journey with The Royal Ballet into Sir Peter Wright's production of The Nutcracker. During this course you'll take your class through motif-development, character dancing and performance skills - completing the programme with your very own piece of choreography to submit for the Creative Challenge.

The project includes:

A practical training day run in different areas of England, to guide you through the process of creating a short, original performance with your students.

A 10-lesson scheme of work, aligned to the National Curriculum, supported by digital content. This scheme of work is designed to be used alongside a series of nine short films, for you to show in the classroom at the beginning of each weekly lesson. The films are stimuli to the creative process, introducing The Royal Ballet, The Nutcracker and a range of dance techniques. It also contains curriculum link ideas for you to consider in the classroom and links to additional online resources, which you may find inspiring. As you go through the instructions that make up the lesson plans, you will notice that the class participants 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!

A Creative Challenge - the final dance can be entered into a competition to win tickets to the ballet or a workshop in school. Midway through, you will submit footage of your dance so far to the Royal Opera House, with a brief description of how you have interpreted your chosen theme. You will then receive feedback from experts in the field to assist your class in their preparation for the final submission. This is also a good opportunity to ask for help on specific sections of your dance that you may need guidance/advice with.

A cinema screening of the ballet The Nutcracker.

The winners of the Creative Challenge come to the Royal Opera House to watch a live performance of a ballet, along with regional winners receiving a workshop by ROH practitioners.

You and your dancers are tasked with creating a dance of no more than five minutes based on one of the themes below from The Nutcracker:

- Visiting faraway lands
- Transformed by magic
- Let the battle commence

The core focus of this activity is creative dance. We have made suggestions about the theme and the choice of music you might use to allow you to keep your focus on the development and creation of your dance. How you manage to develop your ideas in your dance will be the most important part of the process.

Let the challenge commence!

This programme costs £150 for 1 teacher and a class of 30 to take part.
(For more information, please check The FAQs tab).

  • Immersive Lesson 1: Getting Started

    60mins

    Requirements

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

    During this lesson, your dancers 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
  • Immersive - 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
  • Immersive Lesson 3: Communicating in Character Communicating in 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, you'll be working on developing character in your dance. You could brainstorm scenarios, objects or characters that might be included in your dance that align to your theme.

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Communicating in Character
      10mins
    • The Nutcracker – Meet the Characters
      5mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Mime
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Communicating in Character
      15mins
    • Performance and Evaluation
      10mins
    • Ballet Cool Down: Port de Bras
      5mins
    • Plenary
      5mins
  • Immersive - Lesson 4: Find Your Space

    60mins

    Requirements

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

    This lesson will support you to consider how the use of space could contribute to character, story and idea development.

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Find your Space
      10mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Stage
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration – Structuring the Dance
      20mins
    • Performance and Evaluation
      10mins
    • Ballet Cool Down: Port de Bras
      5mins
    • Plenary
      5mins
  • Immersive – Lesson 5: Film, Camera, Action!

    60mins

    Requirements

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

    So far you have chosen your theme, developed ideas through movement, explored some motifs, and considered characters and how to use the space. All these factors have helped you to make a start on your dance. At this stage in the process you will film the dance as it is to send to the Royal Opera House for feedback and suggestions. This will help you and the class continue to refine the dance over the next five weeks. Please perform the dance to your intended music for your feedback. If you still haven’t decided, pick something and let us know that you are unsure of the final music choice.

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Film, Camera, Action!
      10mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Collect and Stick Game
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration – Structuring the Dance
      20mins
    • Performance and Evaluation
      10mins
    • Ballet Cool Down: Port de Bras
      5mins
    • Plenary
      5mins
  • Immersive - Lesson 6: 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
  • Immersive – Lesson 7: Entrances And Exits

    60mins

    Requirements

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

    When we dance, we are performing to an audience so it is really important that each dancer is aware of where they are at every moment in the dance, and also how they get there. The helpful hints and feedback from the ROH team will provide a focus for your work over the next few weeks.

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Entrances and Exits
      10mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Together
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Structuring Entrances and Exits
      20mins
    • Performance and Evaluation
      10mins
    • Ballet Cool Down: Port de Bras
      5mins
    • Plenary
      5mins
  • Immersive - Lesson 8: Developing Character

    60mins

    Requirements

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

    The focus of this lesson is rehearsing the dance. If the music has only recently been chosen, then the dancers will need to become familiar with it. It may also mean that certain moments in the music can be identified as good prompts for entrances, exits and action. Further to this, the focus now is on presentation skills and how face, eyes, body etc. are used to convey the meaning of your dance. The dancers are encouraged to give positive feedback and encourage each other in their contribution to the dance as a whole.

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Developing Character
      10mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Character and Intention
      10mins
    • Preparing for a Performance
      20mins
    • Performance and Evaluation
      10mins
    • Ballet Cool Down: Port de Bras
      5mins
    • Plenary
      5mins
  • Immersive - Lesson 9: Performance Skills

    60mins

    Requirements

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

    This lesson is all about getting ready for the big performance, putting the finishing touches to your piece and refining the choreography. If you haven’t put a final ending on your dance, this lesson will provide a chance to complete it. Endings can be simple or complex, depending on the needs of the dancer and the group. Remember that your dance does not need to finish with performers on stage and music can be faded out.

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Performance Skills
      10mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Performance Skills
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Final Rehearsal
      20mins
    • Performance and Evaluation
      10mins
    • Ballet Cool Down: Port de Bras
      5mins
    • Plenary
      5mins
  • Immersive – Lesson 10: The Grand Finale

    60mins

    Requirements

    • Means of capture
    • Record of last performance
    • Music
    • Clear empty space
    • Costumes

    After weeks of hard work, perseverance and lots of fun, it is time for your dancers to perform! In this lesson you will film your dance for submission to the Creative Challenge. Make sure it is uploaded to the Royal Opera House’s website by the deadline.

    Units/Activities

    • Ballet Warm Up: Count to 20
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Final Rehearsal
      20mins
    • The Final Performance
      20mins

Create and Dance is generously supported by The Sackler Trust