Schools team up for The Nutcracker

BALLET: | Stage West School of Dance, Urban Dance Connection from Campbell River present joint ballet on ADSS Theatre stage.

Young dancers at Stage West School of Performing Arts take a break during a rehearsal for their roles as gingerbread men in the upcoming production of The Nutcracker.

Port Alberni residents can get into the holiday spirit this Saturday, Nov. 28 by attending a classic Christmas ballet. Stage West School of Performing Arts, along with its sister school, Urban Dance Connection in Campbell River, is presenting The Nutcracker with dancers from both studios, on stage at the ADSS Theatre in two performances.

Co-producers Juli Martell from Port Alberni and Jen Soo from Campbell River came up with the idea to put the school together about a year and a half ago. The two met as young competitive dancers and wanted to give their students the opportunity to perform in the well-known production.

“It is hard for one school to take on all the roles so our older girls have been travelling back and forth and the little ones stay in their hometown to train,” Martell said.

“It is hugely ambitious but every great city has The Nutcracker and we’re a great city too, so we wanted to bring a high-calibre ballet to our community.”

Martell has been running Stage West for the past eight years and remembers her formative years dancing in Port Alberni.

“When I was younger it was always exciting to do an actual ballet,” she said.

“We have the year-end show which is always great, but a traditional ballet is a gift. It is a gift that is exciting to give to dancers in a small town.”

The senior dancers at both schools have been rehearsing since the summer and will be taking on the lead roles. Younger students, from the age of six, have been putting the final touches on dances and will take on roles like gingerbread men, party guests and skaters.

“It is a perfect opportunity to give everyone a chance to be onstage and to see how much work it takes to put on a ballet,” Martell said.

“It is about team dynamics and working with another school has been a blessing. We usually only see each other at competitions and dance has never been about competition to me. We are working together as a team to accomplish something.”

The production is also being put on at no cost to parents of the dancers with the help of ticket sales.

Martell hopes this is the first of many community performances.

“We have big plans to do something every year and we want to involve other community groups, charities and choirs,” she said.

“We want other groups to be a part of it because it is not just about the school, it is about Port Alberni.”

The performance takes place at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28 at ADSS. Tickets are available at Stage West, 4653 Margaret St. and Funk Trunk, 4920 Cherry Creek Rd

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

NIC practical nursing students hone skills on pandemic’s front line

‘It also has become clear that this is my thing,’ – NIC practical nursing student Breanna Patterson

Fisherman snags barracuda off Vancouver Island in rare encounter

Ferocious fish, not native to Canada, was netted and released in Alberni Inlet

Vancouver Island family loses everything after house fire next door

Friends of Paula and Clifford Lucas are raising funds to help the young family

North Island College announces 2020 graduation award winners

North Island College has announced the award recipients for the 2020 Graduation… Continue reading

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Most Read