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Royal City Youth Ballet's Nutcracker returns to Massey Theatre stage

After a one-year pandemic hiatus, the ballet company is back – and New Westminster and Burnaby dancers are part of the holiday extravaganza

After a year away from the lighted stage, surely there couldn’t a better show to use as a springboard to announce to the world that they’re back.

Royal City Youth Ballet will offer a limited run of performances of The Nutcracker Dec. 18 and 19 at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster.

The shows come after the troupe was forced into a one-year pause and will include more than a dozen cast members from New West and Burnaby – many of whom will be making their onstage debuts.

New West dancers taking part include: Abby Beleutz, Addison Gosselin, Elena Banares, Elena Skinner, Elise Skinner, Estelle Meconse, Lauren Gosselin, Nicholas Schwartz, Emily Schwartz, Megan Schwartz, Amie Sokugawa, Lia Sokugawa and Sydney Schiebler. They’ll be joined by a pair of Burnaby residents in Madelyn Ng and Jocelyn Hoshizaki.

The local contingent has been cast in roles both big and small: Reindeer and Buffoons, all the way through to Flower and Snowflake pointe roles.

Three New West and Burnaby dance studios  – Royal Principal Ballet Academy, HZ Ballet Classique and Dance Collective – will also be a part of the teamwork that makes the dream work.

Collectively, they’ll pirouette and jeté their way through a storyline that’s a holiday essential complete with the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Snow King and Queen, duelling mice and, of course, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s score.

“The time is Christmas Eve 1890, the place is Clara’s home, where Clara’s parents are entertaining family and friends with a wonderful party,” notes a press release from the ballet company. “Into the party comes Clara’s favourite magical grand-uncle, Herr Drosselmeyer who presents Clara with the enchanted Nutcracker.  The party ends, the guests depart, Clara falls asleep … and dreams, and dreams, and dreams …”

Show times are 1 and 4 p.m. on both Dec. 18 and 19. You can buy tickets online now.