2 3 Nutcracker Factoid for Christmas Eve | Ballet Webb

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Nutcracker Factoid for Christmas Eve

Nutcracker Factoid for Christmas Eve

In early Nutcracker performances, the name given to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s partner was Prince Koklush or Coqueluche. This is particularly interesting when you realize that this word translates to “whooping cough”. However, it probably had nothing to do with the illness. Balanchine said it probably meant a cough drop, and Jack Anderson states that it can also mean “a flirt” or “a dandy”. 

This confusion may be why this character is known only as the Sugar Plum Fairy’s cavalier today!

The first Prince Coqueluche was Russian dancer Pavel Gerdt. He was also the first Prince Désiré in The Sleeping Beauty and Prince Siegfried in the 1895 revival of Swan Lake.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Dance History Factoid (for Christmas Eve) #138:
“The original partner for the Sugar Plum Fairy was named Prince Koklush or Coqueluche.

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