"I think it speaks in a really enchanting, magical way, especially to the children."
—Sophia Lee, dancing the role of Clara
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet's production of Nutcracker has long been a sparkling family tradition. But this year marks some firsts for two of the key dancers.
Nurzhan Kulybaev, a native of Uzbekistan, joined the company in August. He has previously danced Nutcracker in St. Petersburg, so brings a real Russian flair to the part. He is very excited to dance the role of the Nutcracker Prince for the first time in Winnipeg.
20 year old Sophia Lee was surprised to be selected to dance the principal role of Clara. She is a member of the Corps de Ballet. "I didn't think it was going to happen this early, to be honest. I'm worried, still, but excited, for sure.
"The message is that dreams can come true for everyone. Because I honestly didn't think that I would get this chance for at least another few years. And it happened to me and I still can't believe it. But not just dancers - anyone should believe that if they love what they do and if they stick with it, something good can happen."
The RWB's production of Nutcracker, choreographed by Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon, is set in Winnipeg, in a stately home on Wellington Crescent. And there are plenty of other endearing Canadian touches to charm locals.
As well, local celebrities and members of the media will make special appearances. Watch for them in the Party Scene in Act I.
Maureya Lebowitz, Jo-Ann Sundermeier and Tristan Dobrowney (David Cooper)