Create and Dance Nutcracker Taster

In this taster course, introduce your class to the story of The Nutcracker, learn how to warm up the body, and stage a scene.

During this taster course you will take your dancers through two dance sessions that will help you establish and develop movement patterns and character. Once you have completed this course you will have your very own piece of choreography.

We do not expect you to cover all of the learning objectives and activities suggested in the scheme of work. There is a lot of scope for differentiation, and cross-curricular work in other lessons, to complement the students understanding of creative dance.

As the lessons progress, you may wish to incorporate recap time into each lesson. The timings suggested are simply a guide.

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!

Aims of this two-lesson course:

  • You will create a dance with your dancers based on the theme of conflict.
  • You will explore the Nutcracker/ soldiers and Mouse King/mice characters from The Nutcracker and use their movement as inspiration for your dance.
  • You will introduce various activities to your dancers that will encourage them to respond creatively both individually and collaboratively.

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 might be. It doesn’t have to be a theatre. A school hall, a classroom, the yard or school field are all possible performance venues. As a small-scale project, this might work well in a school assembly or another school event such as a summer fête, a Christmas show or even a less formal performance offered up to another year group in a classroom.

Please note, in these films there are references to additional features of the Immersive course. If you are interested to explore these further, you’ll find the course here.

  • Taster: Lesson 1 Getting Started and Developing Movement Patterns

    60mins

    Requirements

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

    In this lesson you will explore some of the characters and one of the themes from The Nutcracker. You will be developing some movement patterns based on characters from the ballet, which you can then develop and structure in the second lesson ready to perform at your chosen event.

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Developing Movement Patterns
      10mins
    • The Story of The Nutcracker
      5mins
    • The Nutcracker – Meet the Characters
      5mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Getting Started
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Character Poses and Travelling
      20mins
    • Ballet Cool Down
      5mins
    • Plenary
      5mins
  • Taster - Lesson 2: Perfomance Skills

    60mins

    Requirements

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

    From your previous lesson, you now have some really useful movement that can go in your dance. This week you will finish your dance so it is ready for performance!

    Units/Activities

    • Nutcracker Video: Performance Skills
      10mins
    • Ballet Warm Up: Structuring your Dance
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Travelling Across the Space
      10mins
    • Creative Exploration: Piecing it All Together
      10mins
    • Performance and Evaluation
      10mins
    • Ballet Cool Down
      5mins
    • Plenary
      5mins

Create and Dance is generously supported by The Sackler Trust