Two young dancers from Orléans and one from Navan will be taking part in this year’s production of Ballet Jörgen’s The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition at the Shenkman Arts Centre on Dec. 11 and 12.
|Keradwyn Thompson, Lila Haché and Claire Beaudette will be part of the cast in the upcoming production of Ballet Jörgen’s ‘The Nutcracker:
A Canadian Tradition’ at the Shenkman Art Centre. PHOTO SUPPLIED
This will be Keradwyn Thompson’s fourth appearance in the annual produc-tion which has now become an Orléans tradition. The 12-year-old Cumberland resident has played one of the four chip-munks in each of the past three produc-tions. This year she’s playing a squirrel.
Thompson’s friend and fellow Cumbrae School of Dancing member Clare Beaudette, 11, has been cast as a squirrel as well. It should be noted the production includes a number of woodland animals native to Canada including chipmunks, squirrels, frogs and bear cubs. As has been the case in the past, the roles are filled by young dancers from Ottawa.
Claire, auditioned last year, but was turned down for a part. No sooner did she get the bad news then she started looking forward to this year’s auditions and a second chance to be on the same stage as her friend.
“Yeah, I’ve actually been waiting all year to try and get it. When I found out I got the part I was super happy,” says Clarie who is a Grade 6 student at Maple Ridge Elementary School.
The third local dancer in this year’s production is Lila Haché, 10, from Navan. Like Claire, Lila was turned
down for a part last year. And like her fellow Cumbrae member she immediately focused her efforts on improving her ballet with the intention of auditioning again this year.
“Lila has wanted to auditioned for
The Nutcracker since she was seven,” says her mother Allison. “She finally auditioned last year but didn’t get a part.”
Despite her disappointment, Lila was determined to come back even stronger the second time around.
“It made me want to try harder for the next time and work harder on ballet” says Lila, who goes to Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic School. “I’m really happy and excited I finally achieved my goal.”
All three girls have been attending the weekly four-hour rehearsals held each Sunday at the School of Dance in New Edinburgh.
They also have their regular classes four or five times a week at Cumbrae were they study jazz, contemporary and ballet culminating in their participation in the studio’s annual recital. But performing in front of your fellow dancers and family members is one thing, performing in front of a paying audience made up mostly of strangers is something entirely different.
While Keradwyn is now a young veter-an of the Shenkman Arts Centre stage, Clare and Lila have yet to experience the butterflies and rush of adrenaline that comes with a live performance. Both say they can hardly wait.
Ballet Jörgen’s “The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition” is being presented on Wednesday and Thursday Dec. 11 and 12 at 6:30 p.m.. A special matinée performance is also scheduled for Dec. 12 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at shenkmanarts.ca or in person at the Shenkman Arts Centre box office.