Local ballerinas will grace the stage alongside Ballet Jorgen’s touring production of The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition at the Sanderson Centre in Brantford on Sunday, December 4.
The show has become a holiday tradition worldwide and Ballet Jorgen, a Toronto-based classical ballet company, has been bringing the show to cities across Ontario for over 30 years.
“Every year, Ballet Jörgen has the privilege of sharing this production and other ballets with over 50,000 people from coast to coast, bringing people together and to help build stronger communities through dance,” said Ballet Jorgen’s artistic director Bengt Jörgen. “The Nutcracker is a wonderful holiday tradition for so many Canadians and is often a child’s first experience watching a ballet. For this reason, we are pleased to incorporate dance students into this production, as so many professional dancers start their careers as young performers in The Nutcracker.”
In a unique twist, the company has young dancers from each host city fill the small roles in the production. In Brantford, students come from dance studios in town and in surrounding communities including Burford, Paris and Cambridge.
The opportunity is competitive, with past productions often seeing over 50 dancers auditioning for the roles. Once selected, the chosen dancers rehearse with a local teacher to learn the choreography for the 10 woodland creature roles just weeks before the performance.
Throughout the entire process, the young dancers learn more than just the choreography and technique. They work with professional dancers to learn how to conduct themselves in audition, rehearsal and performance experiences. It also gives them a chance to meet and work with dancers from other local studios, rather than competing against them.
For many dancers, it is an opportunity to explore the next steps in the world of dance. As they get older, they can audition to be a part of the touring company or apply to one of many programs at Ballet Jorgen.
The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition breathes new life into the original production, choreographed by Jörgen to Tchaikovsky’s well-loved score. The audience is taken on Klara’s familiar, magical dream journey as she arrives in Canada and experiences winter landscapes filled with snowflakes, lumberjacks, Mounties, and creatures of the woods.
Tickets for the performance are $40 and can be purchased directly through the Sanderson Centre.