A Nutcracker Christmas featuring “The Waltz of the Flowers” at the Paris Floral Park by Jeanne and Marion, BP21

It all began at the beginning of October when our class had to look for a theme for the Paris School of Florists’ annual Christmas decor at the Floral Park of Paris.

After some discussion, we chose to depict “The Nutcracker” ballet by Tchaïkovsky.

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Just in case, the story of the Nutcracker is briefly the following:

For Christmas, a young lady receives a broken Nutcracker, like the one below.

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After Christmas, the young lady shrinks with the help of her nutcracker, who looks like a prince, then she engages in a battle to ward off threatening mice, and finally, she ventures into a big forest in the cold winter with her Nutcracker.

At the end, the couple meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and together do their last dance, “The Flower Waltz”.

Now that we have told you the story, we will tell you what our team did for this floral event.

We were split into 5 teams:

The first one was “Christmas”,  the second “The Mice Battle”, the third “The Snow Flake Waltz”, the fourth “The Sugar Plum Fairy” and the last “The Flower Waltz”.  For each team, we decided to create 10 classical dancers, each measuring 3,5 meters high and 1,5 meters in diameter for the tutus.

In the first week of our 2-day arrangement class, we did all the construction work in wood, and at the end of the second day, our first dancer was born.

This was completed, along with Juliette, for The Flower Waltz dancers. We were given the following special instructions:

  • Make something in light pink, white and light purple
  • Use artificial flowers

3 weeks later, we were back on the assignment to finish the dancers with a lot of different materials, pink fabric, and transparent plastic, pink and purple ribbon.

Now other students will finalize the decors by covering the floor and adding the Christmas trees.

We are sure that with this floral event, we will make a great Christmas dream come true for at least some of you. Happy Christmas all!

 

 

The Christmas theme of the Nutcracker Ballet by Pauline and Mélissa, BP21

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This past Monday and Tuesday we worked on the Christmas theme of the Nutcracker Ballet at the Floral Park of Paris for our annual Christmas event. In the third week since we started, seven dancers had already been made with flowers and Christmas decorations in the traditionally red, green, white and gold colors of Christmas.

There were different materials used to wrap the dancers’ entire bodies, such as wadding, red, green or white wool, Christmas tree branches, and red ribbons.

For the ballet shoes, we used either red or beige strings, or red ribbons.

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For the tutus, one was made with wadding, Christmas balls, and flocked wood.
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Another was made with white and red limonium, Christmas balls, and artificial red apples.

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This one was made with white kraft paper, clusters of artificial red and white grape-like ornaments.

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Then there was one with red asparagus, painted redwood branches, fir branches, red Christmas balls, and artificial red apples.

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Here the tutu was made with fir branches, red Christmas balls, artificial red hy

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drangeas,  artificial green amaranthus, and red pines cones.

This next one was made with fir branches, red rose berries, red and golden asparagus.

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Then there was one made with wadding, red Christmas balls, and clu

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sters of artificial red grape-like ornaments.

This last one, which was made last week by us (Melissa and Pauline) was decorated with fir branches, redwood branches, and pines cones.

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After that, we worked on the layout of all the ballet dancers for the event, and we reinforced the attachments of some dancers that were unstable with some string or wire.

At the end of the day, there were still two dancers to finish for the Christmas Ballet and they will be made next week by another arrangement class.

The Sugar Plum Fairies by Annatalia and Marine, BP21

We worked on the Sugar Plum Fairy theme, making 10 giant-sized ballerinas in 2 days. They were made with wood and cellophane, and their bodies were wrapped with felt, wool and cloth. As for their heads, they were made with cellophane and light pink cloth.

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For the tutus, the structures were made with wiring and chicken wire. All of our ballerinas were decked in fuchsia with pink tights, and their tutus were covered with candy to illustrate, as in the ballet, the world of the Sugar Plum Fairy, which is adorned with sweets.

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The 10 ballerinas were placed in a circle and the 10th (the main ballerina, seen above) was set right in the middle. Our lead ballerina has white feathers and colorful wrapped candies hanging from her tutu. She is the only one with plumes as all the other candy ballerinas are in light pink. The top of their tutus has orange glitter stripes to look like candy wraps, made with silk paper.

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The Snowflake Waltz by Kathy, Julie and Luna, BP21

Three weeks ago, we went to the Floral Park to start a project on the Nutcracker Ballet and we chose to work on the Snowflake Waltz theme. Here’s how we did it:

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We first fixed a few wooden sticks onto log bases in order to make the structures of the bodies, and then we fixed some other IMG_2782sticks diagonally to create the ballerinas’ postures.

As our ballerinas were to be fully covered with cellophane, we started by covering each part of their bodies separately.

 

We then went on to shape their heads individually with cellophane, we bent some iron rods to make the arms to give them a less erect shape, and then we also covered them with cellophane.

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As for the tutus, we proceeded by crumpling lots of cellophane sheets to make them look like the frills and the furbelows of the skirts.

For the main ballerina’s tutu structure, we used an umbrella armature, but for the other ones, we had to fix some iron rods onto the bodies and tie some chicken wire above the iron structure.

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Then we stapled each cellophane sheet onto the tutu structures.

 

 

 

 

 

To achieve the ballet shoes, we covered the feet with some silver paper and tied them with some glittery silver strings.209f532a-0e4e-4845-88c7-28a67edfc0c4

Other classes continued our work by decorating the tutus with feathers, paper roses, Christmas tree balls and ribbon-made garlands.

This week, when we returned to the Floral Park, we did the finishing touches on every ballerina. Julie agreed to spend the whole day upon a shaky ladder to make everything picture perfect.

We had to place the ballerinas so that visitors to the pavilion could easily move through all the ballerina themes to see all the different work we realized.

For safety reasons, we made sure all of our dancers were stable by tying them to the ceiling structure and we gave instructions to the next group to continue our work.

It was nice to work out of the school in a beautiful surrounding with a working heating system for once! Moreover, seeing our projects going from simple sketches to finished structures in real life was very gratifying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Battle Scene by Laure & Charlène, BP21

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For the Battle Scene, we created from scratch our 8 dancers with wooden sticks for their legs and bodies and wire for their arms.

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For their heads, we struggled a bit because our first idea wasn’t the best. So, on our second try, we pressed and formed cellophane into the shape of a head, we cover it with foam, and then with rope to make it a bit prettier. With that working out, we then went on to create tutus for the ballerinas with chicken wire and wire.

To make their bodies appear fuller, we covered them with cellophane and then we added some baize, cord, and also dried leaves.

After that, we decorated the tutus with branches, berries,  some tinted eucalyptus, asparagus, and ivy.

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For the ballet shoes, we used cellophane once again to create the shape of heels. And then we covered them with some brown string, which we also used to make the shoelaces.

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As we didn’t have the time to complete all the ballerinas for the Battle Scene, they were left for the next arrangement class to finalize.

 

 

Christmas decorations showcasing “The Nutcracker” at the Floral Park by the Paris School of Florists

By Elodie, Luna, and Mélissa, BP21

This year, our BP21 class along with our floral arrangement teacher Ms Ghislaine Caze chose to produce the “Nutcracker” theme for the Christmas decorations at the Floral Park of Vincennes. Every year, the exhibition is held in Pavilion 18, the largest space in the park, measuring 400m ². Our “Nutcracker” proposal was accepted by the school and ultimately by the management of the Floral Park.

The event takes place for 6 weeks during the Christmas period. Our class started on the construction of the reproduction on Monday, November 5th and the work will take a period of 4 weeks, combining the talents of our apprentices from different classes on different days.

As for our class, we firstly wanted to represent the ballet in 5 parts, which gave us 5 working groups:

1) The Flower Waltz
2) The Battle with the Dance of the Mice
3) Christmas
4) The Sugar Plum Fairies
5) The Snowflake Waltz

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Each ballet will be composed of 10 dancers with each group of dancers having a different dance position.

Step One: Construction of the structure for the dancers

The first two days, allowed us to create a prototype, which will serve as an example for the ensuing classes.
The Floral Park provided us with 50 logs of wood of 40 cm in diameter and 50 cm in height.
We fixed cleats in the center of the logs with brackets and screws in order to hold up a leg and the bust of the dancer.
We decided to position the tutus at 1 meter 35 from the top of the log, which thus becomes the length of their legs. Depending on the position defined by each group, we made cuts in other cleats to hold up the second leg of the dancer. We then attached them to the first leg by using screws.
We tied 7 wires together with sotibat tape, and then we gave them the shape we wanted according to the group of dancers.
We then set the arms on the dancers with sotibat, and to give volume, we surrounded the whole body of the dancers with cellophane. The tutus were built with wire mesh and wire, and then attached to the bodies.
We covered the legs, body, and arms of the dancers with flat wool, which gave solidity.
Head construction
We inflated balloons and then wrapped them in string. In order for the string to harden and consolidate when the balloon is deflated, we dipped them in hot water and a starchy glue. Once dried after a two-week period, we will be able to place them onto the dancers’ bodies.
Here is a look at what our reproductions look like to date: