By Tracy Smith
For many, going to The Nutcracker every year is a family tradition that spans generations. The Nutcracker is a sign that Christmas is on its way. It’s a special holiday story that brings goodness, truth and compassion – a time when the Victoria community unites in the theatre with family and friends, and for two hours, takes in a breathtakingly beautiful performance that gives us all something good to believe in.
Alberta Ballet will perform The Nutcracker at the Royal Theatre from December 1 to 3. The ballet features gorgeous detailed costumes and million dollar sets by Emmy award winning designer Zack Brown. Choreographic Associate and Artist-in-Residence Edmund Stripe have created the choreography to Tchaikovsky’s memorable score.
“The Nutcracker has become a holiday tradition that we all look forward to. Each year, I’m reminded of my favourite moments and inspired to create new memories for the audience,” says Stripe. “When the snow begins to fall at the end of Act One, there’s always an audible gasp from the audience. There’s an element of magic and unexpected beauty that happens at that moment.”
Set in Russia, this Nutcracker tells the story of Klara and her special Christmas gift of a wooden nutcracker. Klara dreams that her nutcracker comes to life as the Nutcracker Prince, who becomes involved in a battle with the evil Mouse King. Klara intervenes heroically to save him, and is then swept away to the Land of Sweets with the Sugar Plum Fairy where she experiences a world of magical dances.
The Nutcracker’s scale is enormous: 30 dancers from Alberta Ballet; 36 members of the Victoria Symphony; 60 local children; and 35 backstage crew come together for each performance.
KerryLynn Turner of Victoria Academy of Ballet is teaching the 60 local children who will dance the roles of party boys and girls, mice, soldiers, rats, and palace pages as part of the Nutcracker ensemble. The young dancers in the performance represent ten local dance studios.
Get to the theatre early for free Nutcracker story time: 1:15 pm (matinees) & 6:45 pm (evenings)
Alberta Ballet + Victoria Symphony
December 1 + 2 • 7:30 pm
December 2 + 3 • 2:00 pm
Tickets from $39 to $99 with kids’ prices available.
Call the Box Office at 250-386-6121 or visit DanceVictoria.com
Every year, Dance Victoria asks the community to help send underprivileged kids to the opening night of the production. A donation of $65 buys tickets that are offered to families at Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Victoria, Victoria Women’s Transition House and First Nations in our community. To help make a dream come true for local children, call 250-595-1829 or visit DanceVictoria.com.
Find the Nutcrackers in Oak Bay Village
From now until November 26, you can take part in the Find the Nutcrackers contest in Oak Bay Village. Dance Victoria posts a daily clue and photo on their Facebook and Instagram pages for 11 days with hints as to which store Mr. Nutcracker and his cousin Tommy Tempo are exploring. Prizes can be won every day including a pair of tickets to see Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker and a Grand Prize that is drawn at the Oak Bay Light Up on November 26. More information can be found at DanceVictoria.com.