Skip to main content

The Nutcracker!


Colourful characters, larger-than-life puppets, breathtaking live music, a fairy tale ballet; Symphony Nova Scotia is proud to present its 22nd-anniversary production of The Nutcracker, a holiday treat for all ages!

Running from December 7-15 at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, this annual production by Symphony Nova Scotia, Halifax Dance, and Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia is unmatched by any other in the province. Combining the talents of over 100 musicians, dancers, and production staff, The Nutcracker entertains thousands of Nova Scotians each year.

It’s the story of a young girl who falls asleep in a dormitory and wakes up in a fantasy world with her beloved Nutcracker. Together, they fight the vicious Mouse Queen and travel through an enchanting Land of Snow to the Palace of the Rag Doll Queen, where flowers, dolls, and toys come to life.

“It’s the fairy tale of the ages,” says Leica Hardy, The Nutcracker’s choreographer and artistic director. “Like all great stories, it’s about imagination, coming of age, and the power of kindness.”

The Nutcracker weaves its magic through a combination of larger-than-life puppetry, live music, and dramatic narrative dance. The cast includes more than 40 dancers and puppeteers, ranging in age from nine all the way to 60. And while the dancers and puppets are onstage, more than 40 Symphony Nova Scotia musicians are beneath them in the orchestra pit performing the music from Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker ballet.

When Leica choreographed this version of The Nutcracker more than 20 years ago, she had no idea it would become Halifax’s longest-running annual seasonal tradition.

“We started out with a three-year contract!” she says. “It’s amazing to me how The Nutcracker has become such an important part of the cultural fiber of our community. It’s the marriage of puppetry, live music, and live dance that makes it so special.”

This year’s production features a mixture of new and familiar faces onstage. Clara will be played by Vivika Ballard, who trained as a child at Halifax Dance, followed by seven years at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. For the past two years she has trained at the Leica Hardy School of Dance. Rebecca Wolfe will be reprising her role as Frieda and the Mouse Queen. As the daughter of choreographer Leica Hardy and principal dancer Christopher Wolfe, Rebecca has literally grown up with The Nutcracker, performing everything from a baby mouse to a snow maiden.

Other principal dancers this year are veterans Henry Jackson (the Nutcracker Prince), Gay Hauser (Fraulein Drosselmeyer), Christopher Wolfe (the Janitor), and Alexis Milligan (Mother Ginger).

And what can families expect when they come to see The Nutcracker for the first time?

“The marvellous thing about this version of the ballet is that it has dramatic and visual appeal for all ages,” says Leica.

“The package of the music, the images, and the magic of the story are like the biggest, most beautifully gift-wrapped box under the Christmas tree. It’s a wonderful way to spend time together with loved ones, celebrating innocence and the magic of the imagination.”

The Nutcracker at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Halifax
December 7, 8, 14, & 15 at 7:30 pm
December 8, 9, & 15 at 2:00 pm
December 13 at 4:00 pm

Popular posts from this blog

Charles Hsuen

Even after almost 30 years as the voice of jazz in Halifax, Charles Hsuen shows no signs of slowing down. His passion to preserve and promote the genre to listeners of all ages cannot be overstated. Recently we spoke with Hsuen about his roots, and his life-long love of big band, bebop, swing, Sinatra and more.
What are your own roots? My roots derive from a rather mixed background. My father is of Vietnamese / Tibetan / Chinese heredity, but grew up in India, before immigrating to Canada in 1967. While my mother’s roots stem from Indo-China, she grew up in Brunei before immigrating to Canada in 1969. Both extended families ultimately settled in Toronto and my parents met and married in the early 1970's. The last name “Hsuen” (now XUAN), pronounced “Schwen,” comes from the Last Emperor of China Henry Pu Yi who ruled using the name Xuantong from 1909 until his forced abdication in 1912. The story was of a tumultuous reign, his forced resignation and eventual attempt to reclaim his ti…

Danny Bilsborough

Danny Bilsborough, NSCC alumna and owner of Danny B Studios, has spent most of her days consulting various clients on software options for their new business endeavours. 
Although she’s been involved with assessing some really exciting projects, nothing makes her happier than grabbing her brush and splashing colour on a canvas. That’s why she’s decided to take the plunge into becoming a full-time artist.
“I was always so scared to try using colour, but when my daughter was born and the opportunity came to incorporate these new palettes into her life, they quickly found their way into mine,” she says.
Colour brings light to many things and gives people a sense of enjoyment. Markus Maier explained in his academic journal titled Color Psychology that colour carries great meaning and can have an important impact on people's affect, cognition and behaviour.
Bilsborough’s favourite pieces to create are those of nature and animals – a quick look at her online Etsy page confirms this. She be…

KING OF KINGS

Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley, International World-Champion Elvis tribute artist, Thane Dunn and his Cadillac Kings, will perform seven shows throughout the Maritimes over the coming months. Recently we spoke with the King of Kings about his passion and profession.
What are your roots? I was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. I've lived everywhere from California to Toronto but Moncton always has had a special place in my heart. My musical roots have always been early Rock and Roll and also old Country and Western like Buck Owens and Stonewall Jackson. I’ve always been a huge Jim Morrison fan. He had a lot of similar traits to Elvis.
What first inspired the Elvis tribute? I always loved the man and I’ve had people tell me I looked like him and in early bands I was in people would say I sounded like him. I had a few months leading up to the decision to do it where it seemed every time I turned on the TV there was Elvis, the radio would be playing Elvis…