2 3 Throwback Thursday and the First Sugar Plum | Ballet Webb

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Throwback Thursday and the First Sugar Plum

Throwback Thursday and the First Sugar Plum

The first production of The Nutcracker was on December 18, 1892, and featured Antoinetta Dell-Era as the first Sugar Plum Fairy. Although some sources say that Tchaikovsky described her as “pudgy and unattractive”, on the opening night of the ballet she received five curtain calls and good reviews. For other opinions on her dancing, see this link:

She was an Italian ballerina, born on February 10, 1860. She came to Russia as part of the “Italian invasion” in 1886, along with ballet notables Legnani and Cecchetti. She also had a successful career dancing at the Berlin Opera.

But beyond that, her life remains a mystery. Some sources say she died in Berlin on June 22, 1945, others say the exact place is unknown. When she died in 1945 it was her final wish that her estate benefit dancers in need, and thus the Dell’Era-Gedachtnis-Stiftung foundation was established.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Secret #93:  
Antoinetta Dell-Era was the first Sugar Plum Fairy in the first Nutcracker.”

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“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”
Anaïs Nin

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