An Open Letter to The Nutcracker Ballet

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From Electric Lit:

Dear Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow King and Queen, Dewdrop Fairy, Dewdrops, Turkish Twirlers, Mother Ginger, Mother Ginger’s Bébés, Dancing Flowers, Spanish Dancers, Arabian Dancers, Chinese Dancers, Soldiers, Dolls, Rats, Producers, Nutcracker Stans, and beloved Mice:

I’m Angelina Jeanette Mouseling from Chipping Cheddar, UK, born in 1983. Better known as Angelina Ballerina, I’ve danced ballet my whole life. My life story has been made into an award winning set of childrens’ books and TV series. I have a nut to crack with The Nutcracker Ballet.

I’m a mouse. The Nutcracker has always been set against mice. Why? I have no idea. Without us there’s no conflict, no tension, and yet all anyone ever talks about is Clara and the Prince. 

The plot itself is completely unbelievable. In Act One the mice attack the Nutcracker (who turns into a Prince???) for absolutely no reason. I’ve never seen a mouse attack a human in my entire life, let alone attempt to eat royalty. Are you aware of our diminutive size? 

Once the mice are defeated, we’re never seen, or heard from, again. There isn’t a single mouse in the entire second half of the ballet. Whatever… 

Then there’s the tiny problem of typecasting. At first I set my sights on landing the part of Clara, but after years without a callback, I moved on. I thought MAYBE the Sugar Plum Fairy was within reach. But no, I kept getting feedback that I was too little. 

And it’s not just me! Do you know how many of my mouse friends have worked their whole lives, climbing up the ranks through the corps de ballet, only to be cast as Mouse #3 over and over again? 

I’ve advocated for mice in starring roles throughout my career with no success outside of productions for mice by mice. For example my best friend Alice Nimbletoes, the talented gymnast, has never been a lead for a human audience. My rivals, the twins Priscilla and Penelope Pinkpaws, despite being Miss Lilly’s favorites, haven’t made it into leading roles either. Alice is a mouse of color, and the Pinkpaws twins aren’t always the nicest but still, none of us have ever been able to cross over. 

Link to the rest at Electric Lit