Four dancers from South Delta are part of a talented cast set to take the stage this weekend in Vancouver in a Christmas holiday classic.
Briella Graham, Juliette Smith, Mabel Lundie and Hannah Searcy will be on stage Dec. 20 to 22 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for Goh Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker.
The Nutcracker features local and international dancers from the National Ballet of Canada, the Bavarian State Ballet and National Ballet of China.
Smith and Lundie are regular students at Goh, while Graham and Searcy dance at Deas Island Dance in Ladner.
“The magic of The Nutcracker is one that many families cherish. It is an artistic tradition that transcends ballet and where people come together as a community to celebrate and appreciate the arts,” said Chan Hon Goh, director of Goh Ballet and executive producer of The Nutcracker. “This year, we are pleased to host a cast of incredible artists from around the world. It is a privilege to unite with passionate international artists to create the undeniable enchantment that is The Nutcracker.”
Smith, who has danced in The Nutcracker for seven years, this year in the role of Clara, said every year it gets better and more special.
“I have been attending many hours of rehearsals practicing the steps and combinations since the beginning of September and have also been watching as many versions of The Nutcracker as possible to help me develop my role as Clara,” she said. “I feel absolutely over the moon with excitement to be performing alongside principal dancers from prestigious professional companies and anxious to do a good job.”
Lundie will perform in the roles of Snowflake, Marzipan and Coffee.
“Stepping out onto the Queen Elizabeth stage is a feeling words cannot describe, knowing all the hard work and hours of dedication through months of training is finally here,” she said. “This is my fourth Nutcracker with the Goh Ballet and it’s still such a special feeling when the curtain goes up. I am so honored to be part of this wonderful ballet during the festive season.”
Searcy, who is in the role of a Party Girl, said it’s a dream come true to dance in the production.
“I was three years old the first time I went to see the Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker and I loved it so much that I knew I wanted to be in it one day,” recalled Searcy. “This is my second year dancing in it and I’m so happy to be chosen as a party girl this year.It’s such a fun role because I get to dance and act. I have been rehearsing since the beginning of September and it’s a lot of work, but I love it because I get to make a lot of friends and learn so much.”
Graham, who is in the role of Little Lamb, will be performing in The Nutcracker for the first time.
“Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined I would be dancing in this production,” said Graham. “I have been training with some outstanding dance teachers at the Goh Ballet who have been guiding me in my role as Little Lamb and I have spent many hours rehearsing as well as practicing at home. I can't wait to perform my role as a Little Lamb on the big stage.”
Shows take place on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 5 p.m.To purchase tickets visit http://www.gohnutcracker.com/.