High kicks abound as the cast of the Nutcracker rehearse this week.The Red Deer College production of the Nutcracker brings together dancers from around Central Alberta for the holiday classic ballet. A limited number of seats may still be available for the show this weekend by contact the Red Deer College Box office for the Saturday performances at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. and a Sunday matinee at 1:30 p.m.

New roles added for expanded cast of annual production at RDC

Fluttering birds and butterflies will join dancing snowflakes and sweets in this year’s The Nutcracker ballet.

Fluttering birds and butterflies will join dancing snowflakes and sweets in this year’s The Nutcracker ballet.

Choreographer Tania Strader was surprised — and delighted — when double the number of young dancers signed up to be in the latest Red Deer College production of the Christmas-themed ballet.

It runs today and Sunday at the RDC Arts Centre.

With a cast of 80 dancers instead of 40, Strader had to think of novel ways of fitting more children into the popular annual show.

She came up with new bird, butterfly and flower roles.

These nature-based characters will meet young Clara outside the palace of the Land of Sweets.

“Instead of having the scene take place inside the palace, it will be set in the palace garden,” she said.

The same famous music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky will score the scene, but more brilliantly costumed characters will be on stage at the same time.

Since many of the dancers are very young — Strader said seven of them are age five and under — this presented its own challenges. But the choreographer believes everything is working out just fine.

In fact, with so many cast members of wide-ranging abilities on stage, the audience should be swept away by an even more impressive retelling of the story.

“It look great, there’s more energy, more colours. … There’s a lot to see while watching,” said Strader, who added “it’s going to be amazing, I think.”

This year’s plot sticks fairly close to the original: The young girl Clara is celebrating Christmas Eve at home with her family when her Uncle Drosselmier arrives with a Nutcracker doll that immediately captures her imagination.

That evening, after everyone has gone to bed, the Nutcracker comes to life and spirits Clara away to a magical land where mice and soldiers battle for victory.

Clara then journeys through dancing snowflakes to reach the Land of Sweets, where she meets such exotic characters as Spanish Chocolates, Arabian Coffee, Chinese Tea, and Russian Candy Canes.

In a small diversion from the original story, this year’s Clara will turn into the Sugar Plum Princess and her Nutcracker doll will transform into a handsome Prince.

“They will be transported back to the palace where they celebrate that the spell is broken,” said Strader.

But soon, Uncle Drosselmier arrives to take Clara back home to reality.

“When she wakes up, there’s some confusion about whether it was a dream or whether it was real, because of some of the things that are left behind,” added Strader.

The shows are at 1:30 and 7 p.m. today and at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $22.25 ($20.25 students/seniors) from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.


Just Posted

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — Crews battling an enormous wildfire just outside the… Continue reading

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

OTTAWA — While most Canadians firmly back the Charter of Rights and… Continue reading

Red Deer stamp-collecting event a hit, local club expected to start in fall

Postage stamp-loving Red Deerians can expect to have a place to gather… Continue reading

Red Deer woman one of three arrested by Sundre RCMP

The 19-year-old had numerous arrest warrants out of various jurisdictions

Businessman and volunteer named 2019 Citizen of the Year

John Donald’s parents and sister were each honoured previously

WATCH: Sunnybrook Farm Museum in Red Deer welcomes spring

Sunnybrook Farm Museum is celebrating spring in Red Deer. On Saturday, the… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have laid out their proposal for rules… Continue reading

Trump’s trophy day of sumo, golf and cheeseburgers in Japan

TOKYO — President Donald Trump presented a special U.S.-made trophy to the… Continue reading

Two dead, one seriously injured, following explosion in Calgary home’s garage

CALGARY — Police in Calgary say they believe a house fire where… Continue reading

Raptors fans spill onto the streets ahead of potentially historic game

Cars honked, exhilarated fans chanted and long lines formed outside bars and… Continue reading

Stan Lee’s former manager arrested on elder abuse charges

LOS ANGELES — A former business manager of Stan Lee has been… Continue reading

BCUC sets out process for gas and diesel price inquiry, set to wrap Aug. 30

VANCOUVER — The British Columbia Utilities Commission says it has set out… Continue reading

Most Read