Words by Kate Wotherspoon
CALGARY, AB December 2013
Remembering the magic from when I was a little girl, you can’t imagine my excitement to be able to see Alberta Ballet’s rendition of The Nutcracker once again.
Comfortable in our seats, the backdrop even got us excited with it’s incredible detail and representation of a snowy evening in St. Petersburg. Opening night began with a speech from Calgary’s Mayor, Naheed Nenshi, he not only welcomed the crowd wearing a dapper tail tuxedo jacket, but appeared in the first number at Vishinsky’s party!
I like to think, magic on stage truly comes to life when you have an incredible on and off stage team. It’s not just what the naked eye sees but stems from an incredible line of intelligent and extremely creative individuals. Calgary’s Philharmonic Orchestra, the choreography by Edmond Stripe, Alberta Ballet’s Artistic Director, Jean Grand-Maître, the conductor, Peter Dala, the costume and set designer, Zack Brown and of course the stage would not be seen without the genius lighting designer, Pierre Lavoie. Each and everyone of them bring the characters and scenes to life.
The Nutcracker is more than just a holiday classic, it allows young aspiring ballerinas the chance to perform with professional dancers and in a renowned theatre like the Jubilee Auditorium. It brings all walks of life to the audience and helps adults remember what it was like to be a child dreaming wildly at this time of year.
Klara, played by Akiko Ishii and her Nutcracker, Yukichi Hattori expressed a stunning chemistry and executed the choreography beautifully. Yet, one of my favorites from the evening had to be the Arabian trio. Played by Reilley Bell, Kelley McKinlay and Colby Parsons, I was completely entranced by their dance. Bell’s flexibility and talent to show such versatility of movement within the ballet choreography was breathtaking.
I was moved by this exceptional holiday classic. Alberta Ballet is truly an outstanding company and I look forward to seeing their next flawless production!
If you have a chance to see The Nutcracker before their closing night on December 24th, please visit albertaballet.com or 403-245-4549 for tickets!
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