Why Is Clara Called Marie In The Nutcracker?

It’s one of the most beloved ballets of all time, but why is Clara called Marie in The Nutcracker? The beloved classic, which has been performed over 2,033 times around the world, follows the story of Marie Stahlbaum, commonly known as Clara.

For nearly two centuries, ballet production companies have held audiences captivated with the enchanting story, astonishing choreography and incredible performances of the talented dancers. So why is this beloved character, the daughter of the Stahlbaum family, called Marie? Let’s take a closer look at the story of The Nutcracker and find out the real reason Clara is known as Marie.

Why is Clara Called Marie in the Nutcracker?

Clara, the main character in the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” ballet, is actually named Marie in the original story.

The change in Clara’s name was made by the choreographer of the first production, Marius Petipa.

The History of “The Nutcracker”

“The Nutcracker” is based on the story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E. T.

A. Hoffmann.

It was adapted for the stage by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Russian author Alexandre Dumas.

The original story features a character named Marie, who is gifted a wooden nutcracker for Christmas. After an adventure involving toy soldiers and a battle with a seven-headed mouse king, Marie is transformed into a beautiful princess who is reunited with her beloved Nutcracker.

Why Marius Petipa Changed Clara’s Name

When Marius Petipa—the choreographer of the first production in Russia—decided to adapt “The Nutcracker” for the stage in the late 1800s, he had to make some changes. He chose to change the heroine’s name from Marie to Clara.

While the exact reason for the change is unknown, most people assume it was because Marie is not a very common name in Russia. Plus, the name Clara was already very popular in the Western world at the time.

Clara’s Role in the Ballet

Although Clara’s name has changed, her role in the ballet has largely stayed the same.

She is still the protagonist, and the story revolves around her magical adventures with the Nutcracker and her fight against the seven-headed mouse king.


While the exact reason for why the heroine’s name was changed from Marie to Clara in the ballet version of “The Nutcracker” is unknown, it most likely has something to do with the traditional European-ness of Clara’s name as opposed to the commonness of Marie’s name in Russia. Regardless, Clara remains the same magical, brave heroine as Marie and is the star of the show.

Citations https://vatromane. com/en/blog/why-is-clara-called-marie-in-the-nutcrackerhttps://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/The_Nutcracker

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