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The Soldiers of Nutcracker

The Soldiers of Nutcracker

The Toy Soldier Army in Nutcracker, Rank by Rank. 

In Clara’s dream, an army of toy soldiers come to life to aid the Nutcracker in his battle with the King of the Mice. It’s a well-organized army made up of four different ranks: officers, infantry, artillery, and cavalry. Both their choreography and their uniform (costume) illuminate their distinctive ranks.

San Francisco Ballet School students as officers in Tomasson's Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson
San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

Two officers lead the charge, marching neatly out of the toy cabinet carrying a flag and a drum. You can tell their rank by their high boots, their black helmets and sash, and the embellishment on their coats.

San Francisco Ballet School students as infantry in Tomasson's Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson
San Francisco Ballet in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

The infantry marches in perfect unity in striped trousers. Each is armed with a (wooden) rifle. This group handles most of the actual fighting with the mice. Their helmets are blue, with red-and-white tassels.

San Francisco Ballet School students as artillery in Tomasson's Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)
San Francisco Ballet School students as artillery in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

When the situation looks dire, the artillery brings out the big gun (literally). Their uniforms are similar to the officers’, but with a pink sash and longer red-and-white streamers on their helmets.

San Francisco Ballet School students as artillery in Tomasson's Nutcracker. (© Erik Tomasson)
San Francisco Ballet School students as artillery in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson

The cavalry (at right in the above photo) charges in on horseback, with swords raised, to battle the mice in hand-to-hand combat.

Header image: SF Ballet in Tomasson’s Nutcracker // © Erik Tomasson