Going to see the Nutcracker is a holiday tradition for good reason. The ornate costumes, the enveloping sets, the approachable and playful storyline, the lively music of Tchaikovsky—whether you’re a dance fan or not, you’ll find magic and merriment and wonder in this show.
Continuing its own tradition, Ballet BC is hosting the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for their impressive take on the holiday tale (Vancouver’s only professional rendition of it, for those taking notes).
Among the cast is Rafe Perry, who joined the Royal Winnipeg Ballet this year as an apprentice. Dancers usually go from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Professional Division to the Anna McCowan-Johnson Aspirant program, and then to the company from there; Perry, who was raised in Comox, skipped the middle step—a testament to his incredible talent.
“The arts community in BC has always supported me growing up—whether through programming, incredible teachers, or performance opportunities,” says Perry in an emailed statement to the Straight. “It feels so special now to perform and give back to this area just as it always has done for me.”
A handful of other Royal Winnipeg Ballet dancers come from BC and are making their homecoming for this performance: Katie Simpson, Logan Savard, Amanda Solheim, Tymin Keown, Brooke Thomas, and Kyra Soo are all local up-and-coming dancers who have taken their talents to the professional level.
“I’m so excited to be back performing the Nutcracker in Vancouver this year,” says Solheim, who is dancing as Clara, in an emailed statement. “I performed my very first Nutcracker on this stage when I was just 10 years old, and I can’t believe I get to come full circle and return to The Centre stage to do Clara this many years later.”
It all makes this show an exciting time to see not only some of Canada’s best classical ballet dancers, but also some of BC’s best. Sounds like a new holiday tradition in the making.
When: December 7 to 10
Where: The Centre for Performing Arts
Tickets: Available here