The picture that inspired this movement was a sketch of a costume for a ballet. The costume looked like an eggshell but had rooms for the legs and arms to be free to move and dance. What is ballet? Learn more about Australian ballet.
This is a clip from a famous ballet that you might know — The Nutcracker — by the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovky.
This next clip is from the ballet Petrushka by Igor Stravinsky. In this clip, a magician brings three puppets to life, then locks one of them up in a room; he struggles to get out and feels sad and lonely. Notice how the music and the movements of the dancer tell the story. Also notice the elaborate costumes!
One more Nutcracker clip!
Listen to/watch the movement The Ballet of Unhatched Chicks in their Shell. Is the music fast or slow? High or low? What instruments do you hear or see playing? Do you see the strings playing with their bow or doing pizzicato (plucking the strings with their fingers)? How do baby chicks move in real life? Have you ever seen a baby chick hatch from a shell? What kind of movements does it make? What kind of noises does it make? Can you hear in the music the sound of chicks chirping? And the movement of them trying to get out of the shell?
Brainstorm for your picture as you listen to the music. Imagine the costumes of this ballet. How would the costumes represents chicks in their shells but still leave room for the dancers to dance? Imagine the ballet itself. If the dancers were dancing to this music, would they be dancing fast or slow? Would the dance be heavy or light? What would be the feeling of the dancing “chicks?” Are they excited? Nervous? Calm? Happy? Sad?