For over two decades, audiences in Winnipeg have made their way to the Centennial Concert Hall to indulge in the beauty and grace of a ballet masterpiece – with its own distinct local twist.
In addition to Clara, the Nutcracker, and sugar plum fairies, the Royal Winnipeg's Ballet's nostalgic Nutcracker story choreographed by Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon features Mounties battling the mischievous Mouse King, special local guest artists and walk-ons, plus a little bit of shinny.
“A little stressful" says RWB corps de ballet member Joshua Hidson, who gets to strap on the rollerblades and do a bit of skating. "I'd never been very great on rollerblades. You’re always kind of nervous that you’re going to tumble into the orchestra pit.”
In addition to his work on the “ice,” Hidson also appears as Clara’s party-starting, gift-giving godfather, Drosselmeyer.
“Without a doubt, I think at this point, (it is) my favourite role I’ve done in my career with the Company,” says Hidson.
The opportunity to make acting choices and play with the character are aspects relished by the performer – who acknowledges that he loves to bring the energy.
“I think I have too much fun with it sometimes,” jokes Hidson. “I’m making different choices every different show. It keeps it fresh – no show is ever the same.”
This year, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet welcomes back guest artist Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble in addition to welcoming the Asham Stompers in their RWB debut.
“(Nutcracker) is very accessible and exciting to everybody who comes to see it,” says Hidson.
Nutcracker runs from Thursday, December 21st through Saturday, December 30th with a break on the 24th and 25th.
For tickets and more details, visit: www.rwb.org