TRURO - The Nutcracker will return to the Truro Dance Academy stage this year.
Dancers with the academy are well into rehearsals for the production, which took a break from the stage last year.
"The kids especially look forward to performing in The Nutcracker for years," said Margot Begin-Gillis, the dance academy's artistic director. "When these kids start ballet, they watch the older ones in the performance. The Nutcracker is the ballet that is pinnacle to them to show their technical skills they have learned."
With Emily Fultz and Sarah Fougere cast as Clara and Sugar Plum Fairy respectively, Begin-Gillis said they have worked hard over the years.
"Those two roles are very technically demanding and they have worked over the last four years to be able to handle these roles. It's not just dancing, but it's acting as well," she said.
The academy traditionally casts 35 to 40 dancers for The Nutcracker, some taking on many smaller roles to participate.
"Because we had so many that wanted to be a part of it this year, we asked them if they would mind only having a small role, and they said yes," said Begin-Gillis, noting this year's cast features 68 dancers between the ages of six and 19.
"It's a really big deal to these kids," added Melissa Page-Webster, an instructor working alongside Begin-Gillis. "It's great."
The story includes some toys that come to life, such as lambs, bunnies and foxes, instead of the traditional candy that children in the ballet receive.
"It's all with the same music, but the toys come to life," said Begin-Gillis.
The artistic director said The Nutcracker is a colourful ballet and is encouraging everyone to come out to see the performance.
"Even if someone is not familiar with the ballet, this is a story that everyone can relate to. There's a lot of colour and action, and adorable children."
This is the seventh year the dance academy has performed The Nutcracker, which is something the community has embraced, according to Begin-Gillis.
"I had a call from a woman in August who even said ‘you don't know me, but,' and she said she was travelling to Calgary in December, but she didn't want to miss this show," she said. "It is a part of people's traditions."
The Nutcracker will be held at the Cobequid Educational Centre on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are available at MacQuarries Pharmasave on the Esplanade. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: The Nutcracker
WHO: Truro Dance Academy
WHEN: Dec. 7 at 7 p.m., Dec. 8 at 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Cobequid Educational Centre, Truro
ADMISSION: $15/adult, $10/senior or student; tickets available at MacQuarries Pharmasave on the Esplanade.