The Nutcracker in a Nutshell opens on December 20.

The Nutcracker in a Nutshell opens on December 20.

Nutcracker is a seasonal favourite

Nutcracker in a Nutshell to be performed in Sooke beginning December 20

Every two years the dancers from Carole Cave’s Sooke Dance Studio present the Nutcracker in a Nutshell.

The nutshell Nutcracker is a shorter more condensed version of the classic Nutcracker. There are all of the characters people know and love — the ballerinas in tutus, the hip hop mice and children and toy soldiers.

Taking the lead roles this year are Jill Haugland as Clara, Olivia Aloma James as the Nutcracker and Amelia Pierce as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

The principal dancers are supported by close to 40 dancers ranging in age from four to adult. The dancers come from 23 families, said Carole Cave. Then there is the tech and stage crew, which makes for action-packed rehearsals.

“We are all having a blast. Working hard but enjoying every minute of it,” said Cave.

The original Nutcracker is a two-act ballet, adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, which premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 18. 1892. It wasn’t very well-received at the time but since then it has been performed by dance companies around the world.

It has become a tradition in many families to go see the Nutcracker at Christmas, and in Sooke to go and see the local production of the Nutcracker in a Nutshell.

A portion of the ticket price is a fund raiser and will go to the Sooke Family Resource Society. There will be concession treats and a silent auction at intermission, with all proceeds going to SFRS. The decorated gingerbread cookies are a favourite.

After a devastating fire at the old studio located at Evergreen Centre, the Nutcracker has become a biennial production. In the July, 2013 fire, all of the costumes were lost and they have had to be remade. The studio is now located at 6653 Sooke Road.

This year there is new choreography and fun twists and turns from what you may have seen before. There are 108 different costumes.

There will be affiliate dancers from Lighthouse Academy of Dance and other local “celebrity” guests.

There is an Angel Ticket Program where people can purchase an extra ticket or two at the ticket outlets so they can be given to a family who could not otherwise go.

“We only run it every two years. So I encourage everyone to not miss it this year. Next opportunity will be 2016,” said Cave.

Tickets for the Nutcracker in a Nutshell are $15 and available at  Sooke Dance Studio and Sooke Family Resources Society. Tickets are a hot commodity so those wishing to attend the production are encouraged to get their tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Find them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sooke-Dance-Studio/99668206383

www.sookedancestudio.com