Royal Winnipeg Ballet | a new Prince captures hearts in Winnipeg
Christmas classic Nutcracker is a holiday tradition that is “fun for the whole family”
Winnipeg, MB (November 24, 2011) – Introducing Winnipeg’s new Prince, Nurzhan Kulybaev, in his first lead role since joining Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet this season. The talented principal dancer promises to steal more than just Clara’s heart as he dances his way through the RWB’s beloved Christmas classic. Kulybaev leaps onstage at the Centennial Concert Hall during Nutcracker’s holiday run from December 21-28, 2011. With the help of a few friends, including Filbert the mischievous bear and a cast of 46 young dancers from the RWB Recreational Division, our newest Prince says this will be a show to remember.
“I am looking forward to playing the Prince,” says Kulybaev, who hails from Uzbekistan. “I will pour my heart into the performance. I hope that I can touch people in some way and show them that they, too, can find happiness and true love.” Though new to Winnipeg, Kulybaev is not new to the role of the Nutcracker Prince. However, it is a very different story from the one he danced in St. Petersburg, particularly the second act of the RWB version, which showcases dances and costumes from around the world. Kulybaev thinks this is very reflective of Winnipeg where many cultures come together in harmony. And, the RWB Nutcracker has a happier ending than the one he is used to. Says Kulybaev: “It is great to have a happy ending because then it’s fun for the whole family.”
This sparkling Christmas treat, choreographed by Galina Yordanova and Nina Menon, is more action-packed than ever before with celebrity walk-on roles and the ever more outrageous antics of Filbert the Bear. Set in a stately home on Winnipeg’s Wellington Crescent, Nutcracker features endearing Canadian scenes, like a Winnipeg Jets-inspired hockey game and a battle on Parliament Hill. Set to a brilliant score by Pyotr IIyich Tchaikovsky, RWB’s Nutcracker is a festive feast for the eyes with scenic design by Brian Perchaluk, costume design by Paul Daigle and lighting design by Michael J. Whitfield.
The role of adult Clara in Nutcracker will be performed by Wang Yun, Amanda Green and Jo-Ann Sundermeier. As well as Nurzhan Kulybaev, newly promoted First Soloist Harrison James and Dmitri Dovgoselets will take on the role of the Nutcracker Prince. The glittery Sugar Plum Fairy will be brought to life by Serena Sandford and Carrie Broda, and the dark, mysterious Drosselmeier will be performed by Alexander Gamayunov and Thiago Dos Santos. All performances will be accompanied by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by RWB Music Director Tadeusz Biernacki.
This year students from the RWB Professional Division and Recreational Division will once again receive the chance of a lifetime when they step onstage alongside their idols. RWB’s Nutcracker is more than just a treasured holiday tradition – it is the professional opportunity of a lifetime! Every year, RWB’s Nutcracker provides RWB School Recreational Division students the exclusive opportunity to perform with the Company in the roles of Party Children, Mounties, Mice and Angels. The roles of young Clara and young Julien, among others, are reserved for students in the School’s prestigious Professional Division program. This year, Morgan Theissen, Katie Simpson, Akanbi Babatunde and Brandon Lockhart will be given the honour of dancing these roles alongside their dance idols.
RWB’s Nutcracker is always extremely popular with Winnipeg audiences, so the public is advised to act now before it’s too late! Nutcracker tickets start at $33 and are available through the RWB Customer Service Office at 380 Graham Avenue or by calling (204) 956-2792 or 1-800-667-4792 toll free. Children 12 & under can see the show for only $25 with the exception of seats in Section A & E. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster or by calling 1-855-985-5000. Groups of ten or more can secure great seats at great prices! Call the RWB Groups Manager at (204) 957-3494 or email [email protected]
Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet is proud to acknowledge Nutcracker Premier Sponsor Great-West Life, Performance Sponsor Rogers and Performance Partners National Leasing and Perth’s for their generous support. The RWB also wishes to acknowledge the support of its funders the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of Manitoba, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council and Arts Stabilization Manitoba.
Walk-On Roles: During select performances. RWB is thrilled to have local celebrities and members of the media step into the Party Scene in Act I of Nutcracker again this year. Stay tuned for an official announcement of this year’s exciting line-up!
Filbert Appearances: Before all performances and at intermission. RWB’s beloved Filbert the Bear will be on hand to dole out hugs and paw-de-graphs to all of his fans, and maybe share some of his famous dance moves, too!
Choir Concerts: Before select performances. Join us in the lobby of the Centennial Concert Hall for some festive pre-show entertainment featuring local choirs.
Portrait Booth: Before all performances and at intermission. Have your family portrait taken by a professional photographer for select performances to assist (suggested donation $5) but be sure to bring along your own camera so you don’t miss out on the fun!
Children’s Activities: Before all performances and at intermission. Children of all ages are invited to visit the Piano Nobile for some Nutcracker-themed arts and crafts.
Backstage Tour: Friday, December 23rd following the evening performance. Join RWB Production Stage Manager, Ingrid Kottke, for an intimate look at the exciting world of dance behind the scenes. Meet at the posted sign in the North wing of the Centennial Concert Hall lobby. Admission is free.
Meet the Dancers: Wednesday, December 28th following the matinee performance. RWB dancers will be available in the Piano Nobile to pose for photos and sign autographs.
Watch the Nutcracker video :