(Posted 12:30 p.m., Nov. 22)
dancers to appear in Jorgen production of The Nutcracker
By Heather Jamieson
The Orléans Star
to right) Angie Di Iori, 10, Madelayne Riendeau,
10, Alyssa Gauthier, 11, Laura Harquail, 8,
Keradwyn Thompson, 9, and Maxine Farha, 9.
Shenkman Arts Centre welcomes four new exhibits this month
featuring works by Ottawa designer and photographer Bert
van der Plas; mixed media artist Maya Hum; ceramic artist
Mike Doxey; and a group of Polish born artists who all
share a love and passion for fabric art.
Thompsons first introduc-tion to Tchaikovskys
famous ballet was a performance of The Nutcracker, A Canadian
Tradition by Ballet Jörgen Canada at the Shenkman
did the young Cumberland dancer imagine that only two
years later she would share the Harold Shenkman Hall stage
with professional Jörgen dancers.
am looking forward to being on stage and having my family
and friends watch me, says the nine-year-old, who
will be dancing in the role of a chipmunk.
is one of six area dancers who have been cast, from about
85 who auditioned,
to join the respected Canadian dance com-pany in the roles
of chipmunks and frogs at the Shenkman Arts Centre on
Dec. 14 and 15. Other dancers were cast in the Dec. 17
performances at Centrepointe Theatre.
young dancers have put in six weeks of intensive Sunday
rehearsals at the Nepean Creative Arts Centre in Bells
Ballet Jörgen Canada version brings a distinctly
Canadian twist to the classic ballet. The story unfolds
in Algonquin Park, where Klaras dream is filled
with lumberjacks, Mounties, snowflakes and woodland creatures.
The performance integrates works of Canadas Group
of Seven artists to frame the story and give it a truly
initiative is part of Jörgens Nutcracker Youth
Education Program, one of its community outreach and educational
initiatives designed to give young dancers the opportunity
to interact with professional dancers and gain invaluable
opportunity to dance with pro-fessionals is an incredible
experience for our students, says Amber Harvie,
assistant director of The Cumbrae School of Dancing, which
has four dancers in the Shenkman shows. Even for dancers
who audition, but are not cast, she says the audition
itself is a learning experience.
year was the first time Angie Di Iorio, 10, who takes
eight classes a week at Cumbrae, auditioned for any dance
performance and she was thrilled to be cast as a chipmunk.
Harquail, 8, and Maxine Farha, 9, are the other Cumbrae
students cast in the production, both as frogs.
challenging to be a frog, says Laura, but
I like that part of it. She loves that the rehearsals
give her the opportunity to watch all the other dancers
in their roles. When I get home, I like to dance
around pretending to do all the different roles.
appreciates how much she has learned from the rehearsal
process and the experience of dancing with other dancers.
is Alyssa Gauthiers second year in the Jörgen
production. The 11-year-old trains with the Extrava Danse
Academy and loves every second of being part
of the Jörgen performance.
really make the kids feel like part of the cast and give
them their moment to shine on stage, says Alyssas
mother Kerri-Ann Gauthier.
trains at L'École de danse Louise in Rockland.
She was nervous about the audition, imagining it would
be as intense as those on "So You Think You Can Dance."
Happily, it was not and she was overjoyed to be cast as
a chipmunk. And she isn't complaining about having to
miss a day of school!
parents, we think it will be quite an experience for her
to be part of a large production like this, with multiple
shows on the same say, and to see all the behind the scenes
happenings that go into putting on a major production,"
adds her father Patrick.
more information and tickets visit www.shenkmanarts.ca.
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