So how did Headington School interpret this Christmas Spectacular?


Over the years there have been thousands of ‘The Nutcracker’ performances,  each representing a new generation whilst still honouring the original. As a Christmas staple, this heartwarming ballet has made its way through the world from schools to high-end stages since its first performance in December 1892. After so many performances, change is essential to capture the interest of audiences to ensure that this story is kept alive. 


After talking to our director - Ms E. Wilson - about our version of the Nutcracker, I have found out just how much planning goes into making our show unique. A lot of the choreography was based on The Royal Ballet version; however, Ms Wilson (quite cleverly) also used steps that would appear in the students’ exams so they would be familiar with it. For some of the original dances such as ‘The Arabian Dance’ Ms Wilson used the Balanchine idea of having a coffee and tea dance to tone down cultural stereotypes therefore adapting them to fit the modern day. Even though there were some changes, in the end, Ms Wilson wanted it to have “ A historical feel rather than a modern setting.”


As a result, Headington was able to create a spellbinding and unique experience for all that came to watch. The audience described it as “ magical” and “ a delight to watch”, highlighting the incredible storytelling and costumes. These included extravagant tutus, capes and a dazzling nutcracker costume! Mrs F. Hardcastle- a member of the audience who went to watch her daughters’ performances on both nights, described it as “ A triumph from start to finish!”. She also mentioned that “ every girl had a chance to shine.” This included girls from the Sixth Form all the way down to the Prep School. 


As one of the dancers, I adored the choreography and the performance elements. It felt magical to be able to perform on our stage as the lighting and set perfectly fitted the enchantment of the piece. Behind the scenes, so much work was put in: many rehearsals, lots of costume changes and hair gel everywhere! After many months of rehearsals, it felt very rewarding to perform our work in front of an audience and to share the magic of the nutcracker with them all. 

In the end, the cast came together to take their final bow and as the curtain drew closed many were already dreaming about the next one.