Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Nutcracker

For many ballet companies, their production of Nutcracker plays a vital role in their annual activities by connecting with broader audiences, developing balletomanes for the future, and launching rising stars to new roles within the classical canon. It is of course also a beautiful and touching tradition to ring in the holiday season, bringing together families and friends of all ages and backgrounds to share in this delightful experience. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s version, which features endearing Canadian scenes, is a biennial favourite at the NAC, and we’re thrilled that you’ve come to enjoy it with us all.

Happy holidays from all of us at NAC Dance!

Welcome to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s unforgettable holiday classic, Nutcracker. Let the timeless choreography, brilliant Tchaikovsky score, and enchanting costumes transport you to a wonderous and magical world.

Set in 1913, Nutcracker follows 12-year-old Clara and her family at Christmas, where the festivities are already in full swing. We see friends and family members arrive, carrying presents in anticipation of a marvelous event. When the gifts are handed out, Clara receives a beautifully hand-crafted Nutcracker, thus beginning one of the most famous and enduring holiday tales ever imagined.

Based on “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by German storyteller E.T.A. Hoffmann, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker is a Canadian reimagining of the 1892 original. Featuring a setting inspired by an estate on Winnipeg’s Wellington Crescent, an outdoor hockey game, dancing snowflakes, a battle on the steps of Parliament Hill, and much more, Nutcracker evokes a familiar Canadian winter experience while maintaining the rich flavour of the story’s German and Russian heritage.

For those who are returning to see Nutcracker, thank you for making us part of your holiday tradition. If this is your first time experiencing this wonderful work, you are in for a treat.

Happy holidays and enjoy the show!


Fun facts!

Yosuke Mino and Dmitri Dovgoselets performed in the first production.

Brian Perchaluk, the scenic designer, was a Gemini Award winner before designing The Nutcracker, his first RWB production.

We have almost 250 costumes for 39 dancers – each dancer has three to eight costumes.

Nutcracker has about 35 tutus in the show alone, and it can take up to 50 hours to create just one snowflake tutu.

RWB’s Wardrobe Department make each costume in-house, sewing precious details by hand.

Nearly 76 young local dancers take part in The Nutcracker production, which is often their first performing experience.

To transform the Nutcracker stage into a winter wonderland is no small feat. To make Nutcracker happen, 34 stagehands are needed for setup while 26 stagehands are staffed for the duration of the production.

To give an idea of the organized clamor behind the curtain, there are 18 fly cues that move 32 pieces of scenery. With the final minutes of Nutcracker requiring three major scene changes, it is no wonder Nutcracker planning begins in March!

Synopsis

Setting

Christmas 1913, in a large Canadian home. It’s a prosperous time in a prosperous city whose population has swollen with new arrivals. The First World War is still half a year away.

Ouverture

‘Tis the night before Christmas and all through Clara’s house, everything and everyone is stirring – even the mice! The people inside are getting ready for the big Christmas party – cooking and wrapping and dressing and fussing. Outside, neighborhood boys play hockey on the street while friends and family start to arrive, carrying armloads of presents and anticipating a marvelous event.

ACT I

Scene I – Clara’s Bedroom

Twelve-year-old Clara is oblivious to all the noise and confusion. She’s dreaming in front of the mirror in her bedroom, practicing her ballet steps. She wants to be perfect when she dances for her glamourous Aunt Josephine, a singer who has traveled all the way from Montreal on the train. Mama interrupts. “Where is the bow that I made for your hair?” she demands. “And where is Dieter?”

Clara’s younger brother leaps out of a large armoire, brandishing a toy sword. Grandmother Marguerite finds her way to the bedroom and manages to calm everyone down. Things aren’t turning out the way Mama has planned; not even the Christmas tree has been delivered. “But Mr. Drosselmeier promised to bring a tree!” She runs off to check on things downstairs while Grandmother shows the children some favourite photographs of Christmas past.

Scene II – The Christmas Party

Mama, Papa and the butler are looking at the empty space in the big living room where the tree should be. What kind of a Christmas party is this going to be? Among the guests filling the room is Aunt Josephine. Resplendent in furs, she makes a grand entrance with her fiance, Edouard, dashing in his military uniform.

At last! Mr. Drosselmeier carries in a tree. Clara suddenly feels shy when he introduces her to his grandnephew, Julien. In no time at all, the tree is decorated and Clara has the honour of putting the star on the very top. Suddenly, the first-ever electric Christmas lights illuminate the tree!

Mr. Drosselmeier hands out his presents, all enchanting. Dieter’s army of toy soldiers has now been augmented by Mounted Police. Mr. Drosselmeier’s masterpiece goes to Clara – a beautifully hand-crafted Nutcracker. During Christmas dinner, Clara slips away to admire her Nutcracker and imagines that he comes alive to dance with her. The doorbell rings and a bear scurries in, admires the tree and dances happily with the Christmas toys. The party breaks up in a flurry of dancing and silliness and romance. “Good night Everyone! Merry Christmas!”

Scene III – Bedtime

Clara falls asleep but is soon awakened by the terrifying Mouse King who is about to steal her beloved Nutcracker. The clock strikes midnight.

Scene IV – The Living Room

Moonlight shimmers through the window and the room starts to change into something strange and new. Clara finds Mr. Drosselmeier who tries to convince her that she has nothing to fear. Suddenly, before her very eyes, the room and the Christmas tree begin to grow. Clara is attacked by scurrying mice while trying to save her Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker comes alive and chases the mice away. Dieter’s squadron of toy soldiers and Mounted Police are now a living regiment and battle fiercely against the menacing mice with cannons, swords and every ounce of cleverness they can muster. The battle takes a turn for the worse when Fritz is wounded and the Nutcracker is shot by the Mouse King while attempting to help Dieter.

Scene V – A Magical Forest

Finally, Clara defeats the Mouse King and begs Mr. Drosselmeier to help her wounded Nutcracker. It’s only after Clara professes her love for Nutcracker that Mr. Drosselmeier can bring him to life again. The Nutcracker was Julien all along and he is now a handsome prince. They walk hand in hand into a magical pine forest, dancing under a sky filled with stars and the Northern Lights.

Snow begins to fall. As the snow falls, twelve polar bear cubs and one big bear playfully wander into the forest. The polar bears are happy to find Clara and the Nutcracker Prince there, and bid them farewell as the Nutcracker Prince and Clara depart to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s kingdom.
 

ACT II

Scene I – The Kingdom

The Nutcracker Prince and Clara travel to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s kingdom, where adorable little angels along with Mr. Drosselmeier help with the preparations for their arrival. The Sugar Plum Fairy gives Clara and Prince Julien a very warm welcome and an elaborate ceremony ensues to honour them. Wonderful dances from many different lands and many more delights are performed, reminding Clara of all the people arriving every day to their country.

In a beautiful pas de deux, the prince has the great honour of dancing with Clara. She simply floats in time to the music. In a grand farewell gesture, all the inhabitants of the magical land gather to bid Clara a happy journey home.

Scene II – Early Morning

When Clara wakes up, she is happy to be in her own bedroom. The Nutcracker stands proudly next to her. Remembering her dream, she’s relived to see her big brother Fritz striding into the room, alive and well, and announcing, “It’s snowing!” They bundle up, go outside and watch the snow fluttering down. It was the best Christmas ever!

About the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Founded in 1939, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet holds the double distinction of being Canada’s premier ballet company and one of the oldest ballet companies in North America. Under the artistic direction of André Lewis, versatility, technical excellence and a captivating style are the trademarks of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, qualities that have garnered both critical and audience acclaim. RWB’s superlative standards keep the Company in demand across North America. In addition to the Company, the RWB is home to the RWB School, consisting of both a professional division which trains young artists for a professional career in dance, and a recreational division which provides classes to over 1,500 students each week.

Ottawa Students

Along with the talented artists of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, dozens of young dancers from Ottawa-Gatineau are featured in this production. Chosen from over 250 young people who auditioned earlier this autumn, these talented performers from across the region were rehearsed by Janice Messam and appear as party children, mice, Mounties, polar bears, reindeer and angels.

Special thanks to The School of Dance for their support on the audition and rehearsal process.

Cast and Characters

ACT I
THE CHRISTMAS PARTY

Clara
Ana Mekvabishvili &

Chenxin Liu (4, 7 eve)
Sophia Lee (5, 8 eve)
Elizabeth Lamont (6, 8 mat)
Yayoi Ban (7 mat)

Clara’s parents
Sarah Davey (4, 7 eve)
Elizabeth Lamont (5, 8 eve)

Jaimi Deleau (6, 7 mat, 8 mat)
Tristan Dobrowney (4, 7 eve)
Dmitri Dovgoselets (5, 6, 7 mat, 8)

Clara's grandmother
Yayoi Ban (4, 5, 7 eve, 8 eve)
Sophia Lee (6, 7 mat, 8 mat)

Dieter
Jacqueline Kuttner (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Viola Moschtaghi (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*

Fritz
Yue Shi (4, 7)
Ryan Vetter (5, 6, 8)

Josephine, Clara’s Aunt
Elizabeth Lamont (4, 7)
Jaimi Deleau (5, 8 eve)
Sarah Davey (6, 8 mat)

Edouard, Josephine’s fiancé
Michel Lavoie (4, 6, 7 eve, 8 mat)
Joshua Hidson (5, 7 mat, 8 eve)

Drosselmeier, Clara’s Godfather
Liam Caines (4, 7)
Stephan Azulay (5, 8 eve)
Peter Lancksweerdt (6, 8 mat)

Julien, Drosselmeier’s Grandnephew
Sebastian Fairley

The Nutcracker Prince
Dmitri Dovgoselets (4, 7 eve)
Tristan Dobrowney (5, 8 eve)
Yue Shi (6, 8 mat)
Ryan Vetter (7 mat)

Clara’s Friends
Jenna Burns
Sarah Joan Smith

Amanda Solheim (4, 6, 7, 8 mat)
Chenxin Liu (5, 8 eve)

Ryan Vetter (4, 7 eve)
Yue Shi (5, 8 eve)
Parker Long (6, 7 mat, 8 mat)
Liam Saito

Alizée Fuentes (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Naomi Gascho (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Emily Tavares (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Holly Young (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Findlay Davies (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Charlie Devine (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Ryan Twigg (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Adelaide Wai (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Grace Girouard (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Sophia Mekki (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Victoria Noisette (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Ilya DeGroot (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Tyler Fletcher (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Rowan Mee (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*

Guests (Parents)
Katie Simpson (4, 6, 7 eve, 8 mat)
Katie Bonnell (5, 7 mat, 8 eve)

Aoi Hatanaka

Elena Dobrowna

Irene Blanc Zoco

Parker Long (4, 5, 7 eve, 8 eve)
Tristan Dobrowney (6, 7 mat, 8 mat)

Stephan Azulay (4, 6, 7, 8 mat)
Liam Caines (5, 8 eve)

Joshua Hidson (4, 6, 7 eve, 8 mat)
Michel Lavoie (5, 7 mat, 8 eve)

Bryce Taylor

Filbert the Bear
Katie Bonnell (4, 6, 7 eve, 8 mat)
Katie Simpson (5, 7 mat, 8 eve)

*Ottawa students

THE BATTLE
Clara, Dieter, The Nutcracker Prince and

The Mouse King
Ryan Vetter (4, 7 eve)
Yue Shi (5, 8 eve)
Liam Saito (6, 8 mat)
Peter Lancksweerdt (7 mat)

Army of Mice
Laura Flydorf, Aoi Hatanaka, Emilie Lewis, Rachel Gibbs, Brooke Thomas, Ryley Krauss, Miranda Lazarenko, Irene Blanc Zoco

Amira Angelo (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Eva Riecker (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Mathilde Simard (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Maëlle Théoret (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Payton Carter (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Allie Smith (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Anna Stoica (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Susanna Tzemenakis (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*

Soldiers & Mounted Police
Michel Lavoie

Joshua Hidson

Liam Saito (4, 5, 7, 8 eve)
Stephan Azulay (6, 8 mat)

Parker Long

Bryce Taylor

Cameron Fraser-Monroe

Sebastian Fairley

Findlay Davies (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Charlie Devine (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Ryan Twigg (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Ilya DeGroot (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Tyler Fletcher (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Rowan Mee (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*

THE MAGICAL FOREST
Clara, The Nutcracker Prince and

Snowflakes
Yayoi Ban (4, 7)
Elizabeth Lamont (5, 8 eve)
Katie Bonnell (6, 8 mat)

Sarah Davey (4, 7)
Chenxin Liu (5, 8 eve)
Jaimi Deleau (6, 8 mat)

Sarah Joan Smith
Katie Simpson
Amanda Solheim
Jenna Burns
Laura Flydorf
Rachel Gibbs (4, 6, 7 eve, 8 mat)
Ana Mekvabishvili (5, 7 mat, 8 eve)
Emilie Lewis
Aoi Hatanaka
Brooke Thomas
Miranda Lazarenko
Ryley Krauss (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 mat)
Elena Dobrowna (5, 7 eve, 8 eve)
Irene Blanc Zoco

Hazel
Stephan Azulay (4, 7)
Peter Lancksweerdt (5, 8 eve)
Liam Caines (6, 8 mat)

Hazel’s Cubs
Nora Beshai-Moubarak (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Sasha Burrell (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Finlay Craig (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Maxine Farha (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Eden Haley (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
LiCan-Marie Leduc (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Sylvie Massé (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Liam O’Neill (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Jane Schlosser (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Frédérique Simard (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Gillianne Smith (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Elyse Wright (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Abby Breadner (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Marilou Charron (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Alex Craig-Browne (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Frances Denny (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Marlo Ferguson (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Maélie Gagnon (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Anabelle Ménard (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Léonie Ravard (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Eliana Scherf (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Hannah Stewart (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Saphia Ward (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Leia Wheable (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*

Reindeer
Piper Davies (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Sophie Legault (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Maya McKnight (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Lily Mialkowski (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Charlotte Plamondon (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Brianna Ross (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Miranda Ayson (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Brooklyn Baker (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Adeline Barry-Corneau (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Madelyn Guthrie (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Janna Matoussova (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Elizabeth Moffat (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*

​*Ottawa students

ACT II
THE KINGDOM
Clara, The Nutcracker Prince, Drosselmeier and

Sugar Plum Fairy
Jaimi Deleau (4, 7)
Sarah Davey (5, 8 eve)
Sophia Lee (6, 8 mat)

Angels
Sophia Fotiou (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Sabrina Gascho (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Élysée Labrosse (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Émilie LeCavalier (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Calli Macdonald (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Ava McKnight (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Aisha Winfield-Khan (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Zara Winfield-Khan (4, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)*
Livia Bain (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Ana-Bella Campbell (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Romy Delisle-Sanscartier (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Angie Di lorio (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Zoë Malek (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Alexandra Milinkovich (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Mia Pincombe (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*
Kirsten Viitaniemi (5, 7 eve, 8 mat)*

WALTZ OF FLOWERS ENSEMBLE & PAS DE QUATRE
Katie Simpson
Joshua Hidson

Jenna Burns
Parker Long (4, 5, 6, 7 eve, 8 eve)
Liam Saito (7 mat, 8 mat)

Sarah Joan Smith (4, 7 eve, 8 mat)
Elena Dobrowna (5, 6, 7 mat, 8 eve)
Michel Lavoie

Amanda Solheim
Peter Lancksweerdt (4, 5, 7, 8 eve)
Tristan Dobrowney (6, 8 mat)

Laura Flydorf, Aoi Hatanaka, Emilie Lewis, Rachel Gibbs, Brooke Thomas, Ryley Krauss, Miranda Lazarenko, Irene Blanc Zoco

SPANISH
Drosselmeier with
Sarah Davey (4, 7)
Jaimi Deleau (5, 8 eve)
Yayoi Ban (6, 8 mat)

Katie Bonnell (4, 6, 7, 8 mat)
Yayoi Ban (5, 8 eve)

ARABIAN
Yayoi Ban (4, 7 eve)
Katie Bonnell (5, 8 eve)
Sarah Davey (6, 8 mat)
Sophia Lee (7 mat)

Tristan Dobrowney (4, 7 eve)
Liam Caines (5, 8 eve)
Stephan Azulay (6, 7 mat, 8 mat)

CHINESE
Drosselmeier with
Elizabeth Lamont (4, 7 eve)
Chenxin Liu (5, 8 mat)
Sarah Joan Smith (6, 7 mat, 8 eve)

RUSSIAN
Sophia Lee (4, 7 eve)
Elizabeth Lamont (5, 7 mat, 8 eve)
Jaimi Deleau (6, 8 mat)

Yue Shi (4, 7 eve)
Liam Saito (5, 6, 8 eve)
Bryce Taylor (7 mat, 8 mat)
Ryan Vetter (4, 5, 6, 7 eve, 8 eve)
Parker Long (7 mat, 8 mat)

GIGUE
Drosselmeier & Sugar Plum

GRAND PAS
Clara & The Nutcracker Prince

FINALE
The Company

​*Ottawa students


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