North Delta’s Kyla Couper is the Sugar Plum Fairy (alongside Eloi Homier as the Cavalier) in the Royal City Youth Ballet company’s production of the Nutcracker. Surrey's Emily Salisbury (below

The season to get cracking

Three separate productions of the Nutcracker ballet highlight the dance top talent in Surrey and North Delta.

When it comes to roles in the Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum fairy character is pretty much the sweetest you can get as a dancer.

Just ask Kyla Couper.

“It’s kind of like the biggest role. That’s the hardest role to dance,” she said.

The North Delta teen has pirouetted her way to the part in this year’s production of the Nutcracker, presented by Royal City Youth Ballet (RCYB) company.

Couper, who trains at Surrey Dance Centre, initially auditioned for the show and landed multiple smaller parts, including snowflake, big Arabian, flower, Spanish girl and mirleton doll.

Then those in charge realized she was capable of more.

“They saw that I learned really fast… so they wanted to give me an opportunity to see if I could learn the Sugar Plum,” said Couper, who turns 15 next week. “And they were impressed so they gave me some shows.”

RCYB stages the Nutcracker annually at various locations in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. The show has already hit stages in Abbotsford and Maple Ridge, and is headed to New Westminster this weekend and to Surrey for five shows Dec. 14-16.

This is the second year Couper has been in the company’s holiday show, which is set to the music of Tchaikovsky and follows a girl named Clara as she dreams of her nutcracker doll coming to life and taking her on a magical journey.

Couper, who’s in Grade 10 at Burnsview Secondary, has been dancing since age four. She trains about 16 hours per week in all styles of dance, including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, acro, hip hop and musical theatre.

She was in last year’s RCYB production as well, playing multiple roles, but is eager to show her skills in the Sugar Plum role.

“I’m so excited.”

Other Delta residents in the show include Emma Bavis, Peighton Brown, Mia Pelayu, Talia Langtry, Nicole Piner, Emma Wood and Hannah Wood.

Surrey’s Emma Salisbury will also be centre stage in the production, in the main role of Clara.

Others from Surrey include Emily Belter, Caitlin Bush, Kristen Charron, Chloe Choroszewski, Sarah Dickson, Chloe Dickson, Angela Doddis, Amy Fontaine, Brea Franklyn, Nicole Hague, Layla Hamnett, Mackenzie Hebein, Desiree Kennedy, Hannah Leowen, Madeleine Martin, Giulia Martin, Rachel Meyerhoff, Kylie Milliken, Emma O’Malley, Jaqueline Ritter, Tiffany Roan, Ashley Steele, Grace McAllister and Baily Yi.

RCYB’s Nutcracker comes to the Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Ave., Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 15 and 16 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are available at tickets.surrey.ca or by calling 604-501-5566.

 

Surrey dancer chosen for Royal Winnipeg production

Meigan Picard is among 70 young dancers from across the Lower Mainland featured

in Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker this month.

Picard, a 12-year-old who trains at Flora Pigeau Dance Academy, is playing the role of Dieter, one of the main character Clara’s brothers.

Picard has had a big year, having been to Germany this past October for the International Dance Organization (IDO) World Dance Championships. She has also attended summer programs at Canada’s National Ballet School and Boston Ballet School and has been in the RCYB’s Nutcracker in past years.

The Canada Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Nutcracker will be at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from Dec. 14-16 at 7:30 p.m., with matinees Dec. 15 and 16 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at ticketmaster.ca or by calling 1-855-985-2787.

 

Little dancer on the big stage

Alyson Tyerman may be just eight, but in less than two weeks, she’ll be dancing alongside dancers from the New York City Ballet.

Tyerman landed a role in Goh Ballet’s version of the Nutcracker after auditions in May, where she was among hundreds of dancers to show their stuff in front of judges including prima ballerina Chan Hon Goh.

Goh Ballet’s Nutcracker, with live music by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, takes place Dec. 19-23 at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts. Call Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-5000 or ticketmaster.ca or visit gohnutcracker.com

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