Much of Tchaikovsky's music for the ballets Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker exhibits what Harald Krebs calls metrical dissonance: the juxtaposition or superimposition of noncoincident pulses and rhythmic patterns. This article shows how the dances of the composer's collaborators, Enrico Cecchetti, Antonietta Dell'Era, Lev Ivanov, and Marius Petipa, respond to and participate in these metrical dissonances. The first part of the article defines metrical dissonance, the processes that transform it, and the related but distinct phenomenon of metric type. The second part presents four choreomusical analyses that draw on archival dance notation and videos of present-day performances.

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