A group of 13 local ballet dancers will be on the stage with a professional dance company for the production of Ballet Jorgen’s “The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition”, on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at the Cugnet Centre.
The ballet is a presentation of the Weyburn Concert Series, in conjunction with the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils (OSAC), part of their 2018-19 Stars for Saskatchewan Concert Series.
This Canadianized version of The Nutcracker, with the score by Tchaichovsky, was created by choreographer and artistic director Bengt Jorgen, in collaboration with Kleinburg’s McMichael Canadian Art Collection, with over 100 costumes in richly-coloured fabrics.
This production shows Klara’s magical dream journey as she arrives in Canada and experiences winter landscapes filled with snowflakes, lumberjacks, Mounties and creatures of the woods.
The local dancers will be portraying some of the woods animals, including squirrels, chipmunks, frogs, a deer, a beaver, a bear cub and dragonflies.
The dancers include Jessania Deane and Lauren VanDamme as dragonflies; Eden Morfitt, Mya Sanderson, Jordan Lindenbach and Jaylynn Driedger as the squirrels; Josee Hutt, Chloe Patzer, Taryn Gervais and Mira Bourassa as the chipmunks; Jiaqi Li and Kathy Huang as frogs; Jessania Deane as a deer; Josee Hutt as a beaver and Lilly Pocha as a bear cub.
They were led by dance instructor Samantha Manolescue of Dance Zone, who had them practice four or five times prior to the performance, with four hours the first two times and then three hours for each rehearsal after that, to prepare for this dance experience.
“They can see how they prepare backstage. It’s so valuable for them to experience this,” said Manolescue, who noted they will have a dress rehearsal with the entire cast onstage on the day of the performance.
“They will be doing animal movements to represent forest life,” she explained.