Ten years on, the company’s annual production of The Nutcracker Ballet has become a Fredericton holiday tradition.
Dance Fredericton ushers in the holiday season this month with the company’s 10th anniversary production of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, The Nutcracker, November 26 and 27 at the Fredericton Playhouse.
This annual holiday show is an important part of the Dance Fredericton’s regular programming. Each production includes an enormous cast of dancers that range from 8 years old to high school and university aged students.
“We started small, ten years ago,” said parent and Dance Fredericton board member Jennifer Lawson Murray. “It’s been a building process. We started with just a couple of numbers and had David Moroni from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet give a talk to some of the people in the audience about the ballet process and the process to develop of The Nutcracker.”
“Our first year was just a couple of choreographed scenes and every year after that we’ve built on it, adding different dances until now we have the full Nutcracker production,” said Murray. “We’ve also built the sets and costumes over that time as well.”
The company’s holiday production is a major focus for teachers and students over the course of the fall season with rehearsals for all age groups spanning four months of dedication in preparation for the big stage.
“We do a week-long intensive at the end of August,” said Murray. “That gives us a full week of preparing and getting people back in shape after the summer and we also use that time to learn new choreography if needed. Shortly afterwards we have our auditions and once the cast is set, we rehearse every Saturday until the show.”
This year’s production features guest artists Alanna McAdie and Yosuke Mino, soloists with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Louis-Philippe Dionne former soloist with the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada.
“I think it’s become a tradition for a lot of people in Fredericton and a lot of people at Dance Fredericton,” she said. “It’s something that everybody looks forward to and it’s a great way to start the holiday season.”