dancers were “breathtaking and I loved getting to know them,”
says Keradwyn Thompson about her first experience, in 2016,
dancing in Canada’s Ballet Jörgen production of The Nutcracker:
A Canadian Tradition.
dancers Keradwyn Thompson and Lily Mialkowski
will appear together in the Ballet Jorgen
performance of The Nutcracker. PHOTO SUPPLIED
even more exciting than I imagined,” she recalls.
the third consecutive year the 11-year-old has successfully
auditioned for a role. While she is once again dancing the
part of a chipmunk, she explains there are four chipmunk
roles and she has played a different one each year.
friend and fellow Cumbrae School of Dancing student Lily
Mialkowski, 12, has earned a role in this year's production
aftershe unsuccessfully auditioned last year.
wasn’t discouraged about trying again," says Lily,
who will also be playing a squirrel. "In fact, I think
I was more encouraged so I could prove to myself that you
can do whatever you set your mind to.”
mother Nancy MacKinnon is very proud of how her daughter
bounced back from her disappointment.
Harquail and Charlotte Goyetche are the other Cumbrae students
dancing in this year’s production. Keradwyn’s advice to
those dancing for the first time is to do their best. “Time
flies, so remember to enjoy the experience and don’t forget
to have fun.” (Keradwyn will also be performing in Cinderella
and the Ice Slipper at The Gladstone Theatre starting December
part of the Nutcracker cast is a significant commitment
for dancers, who are already dancing many hours a week in
their regular classes. An intensive evening and full-day
of rehearsals followed auditions at the Shenkman in mid-October.
weekly rehearsals continue every Sunday morning at the School
of Dance in New Edinburg until final rehearsals with Ballet
Jörgen’s co-founder and artistic director Bengt Jörgen.
father Kevin Thompson is impressed with Jörgen’s support
and encouragement. “He really makes the children feel like
they are part of the Jörgen ballet family.”
80 Ottawa-area dancers who auditioned, 16 from eight Ottawa-area
dance schools were chosen to perform as woodland creatures
in the three performances at the Shenkman. Another 15 young
dancers will perform in the two performances at the Meridian
Theatres at Centerpointe.
the case last year, the only male dancer chosen for either
cast was Viggo Batabyal-Miller from the Academy of Dance
Arts in Orléans. Cumbrae dancers were also among local dancers
chosen to dance in the recent Alberta Ballet production
of The Nutcracker at the National Arts Centre.
say enough about how grateful I am as a teacher to the companies
that open roles to local children,” says Amer Harvie, director
of Cumbrae. “It is so inspiring for them to be part of a
at the Shenkman are at 7 p.m. on Dec. 12 and at 1:30 and
7 p.m. on Dec. 13. Visit www.shenkmanarts.ca
or call 613-580-2700 for more information or to purchase
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of
our local business partners.)