Monday, December 17, 2012

First Grade Nutcracker Dances

The first graders have been studying Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. We talked about how ballet tells a story with music and movement then explored the building blocks of dance: traveling movement, turning, moving from high to low, and moving close or farther away from the body or from the group you're moving with. 
After learning the story and watching the beginning of the ballet, we've been comparing three versions of the dances from other countries that happen while Clara and the Nutcracker Prince are at his castle. Students watched, noticing that the music was the same, but the movements changed. They did a great job of finding the building blocks of dance in each example. 
These are pictures of students doing their own versions of the Russian Dance from Nutcracker. You can hear the music at this link Russian Trepak from Nutcracker. There are other versions available if you search YouTube. The dances may be different, but Tchaikovsky's music is always the same!