One chilly winter evening, Herr Stahlbaum and his wife are hosting a Christmas Party. Their children, Clara and Fritz, welcome the guests. With great anticipation, the children receive presents when suddenly, the mysterious Dr. Drosselmeyer arrives. He entertains the children with his magical tricks and wind-up dolls. Dr. Drosselmeyer reveals a special gift for Clara – a wooden Nutcracker that becomes the hit of the party. In a jealous fit, Fritz breaks it. Clara is heartbroken, looking on as Dr. Drosselmeyer quickly repairs it. As the evening grows late and the guests leave, the Stahlbaums retire for the night. Clara, worried about her beloved Nutcracker, sneaks back to the tree to check on him, falling asleep with him in her arms. The clock strikes midnight and suddenly the room fills with giant mice who attack Clara. Life-size toy soldiers, led by her valiant Nutcracker, come to her rescue. The Mouse King corners the Nutcracker and battles him one on one. Clara makes a final daring charge, throwing her slipper at the Mouse King, hitting him square in the head. The Nutcracker gallantly waves his sword and conquers the Mouse King. At this very moment, the Nutcracker is transformed into a handsome prince. The Nutcracker Prince takes Clara on a journey into the Land of Snow, an enchanted forest wonderland. They are welcomed by the Snow Queen and the Snow King and the dancing Snowflakes. The Nutcracker Prince then escorts Clara to the Kingdom of Sweets in a glistening sleigh.
Clara and her Nutcracker Prince continue their journey across the Lemonade Sea. When they finally arrive in the Kingdom of Sweets, there are delectable treats waiting for them. They are then greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and in Clara’s honor, the inhabitants of her kingdom entertain them during a feast: chocolate, a Spanish Dance; coffee, an Arabian Dance; tea, a Chinese Dance; and the dance of the Marzipan. Clara is also entertained by the peppermints, a Russian Dance; a dance with Mere Gigogne and her Bonbons; as well as the “Valse Des Fleures”, a splendid waltz of the flowers. Then, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier Prince dance a grand pas de deux. Soon after, Clara says goodbye to the Kingdom of Sweets when awakened by her mother. To her surprise, she is back in her house. Has this wonderful journey been but a dream?
Among talented ballet kids and the world’s most well behaved mice, I had the honor of playing Sugarplum Fairy in Goh Ballet’s production of Nutcracker. Santa couldn’t have given me a better Christmas present that year.
History of Goh Ballet
The Goh Ballet Youth Company was established in 1979 by former Principal Dancers of The National Ballet of China, Choo Chiat and Lin Yee Goh. Its objective is the pursuit of technical and artistic excellence in conjunction with raising cultural awareness in the community. This performing group reflects Vancouver’s cultural diversity. It serves as a magnet to attract talented dancers locally and abroad, and helps to ease the transition from student to professional dancer.
The students at Goh Ballet are so talented that it is easy to forget that you are dancing with students! The organization is so professional and the children are so beyond their years that their Nutcracker is a step above the rest!
Dancers from around the world relocate to Vancouver to join the Goh Ballet, reflecting our entire country’s diversity. This global cultural exchange is complemented by a host of internationally renowned rehearsal masters and choreographers, who impart knowledge with generosity and enthusiasm.
Through its extensive repertoire of classical and contemporary ballet, jazz, character and Chinese dance, the Goh Ballet training program ranges from youngsters discovering dance through the Youth Company’s educational outreach program, up to the seasoned dance aficionados attending performances and international festivals.
With a combination of talent, international exposure, training and well-rounded programming, the Goh Ballet has successfully garnered recognition by producing prizewinners at international competitions, even earning the Youth Company the first invitation for a Canadian organization to perform at Rencontres Internationales de la Danse Festival in La Baule, France. These prize-winning dancers and other members have transitioned on to flourishing careers with world class companies.
The Goh Ballet Youth Company has firmly established Vancouver as a city that houses a first rate dance organization presenting world-class dancers and programs of distinction.
For information about Goh Ballet Academy’s extensive training programs visit GohBallet.com