The Nutcracker is a timeless classic, but for Paul Destrooper, the artistic director of Ballet Victoria, constant innovation is key to keeping their version, “The Gift of The Nutcracker,” engaging and exciting. With close to two dozen annual performances, Ballet Victoria’s adaptation incorporates new projections, costumes, effects, and updated choreography to keep the production fresh.


This year, the company introduced all-new projections, costumes, and effects, with some choreography updates to infuse new energy into the performance. According to Destrooper, this dynamic approach not only keeps the audience excited but also motivates the dancers to explore different aspects of their craft.


Ballet Victoria, founded in 2002, is no longer considered an emerging-artist company but a seasoned one. Many dancers have been with the company for five to ten years, contributing to the quality of their work and generating interest beyond Victoria. The company recently took its rendition of The Nutcracker to the United States for the first time since the pandemic, performing in Moscow, Idaho, and Prescott, Arizona.


The tour, which began on November 30, included performances in Maple Ridge and Coquitlam. Destrooper emphasized the unique aspect of Ballet Victoria’s productions — involving the local community. This approach resonated well with U.S. presenters who expressed eagerness for the company to return with new productions, recognizing the value of local participation and engagement.


In Victoria, The Gift of The Nutcracker will feature approximately 30 musicians from the Victoria Symphony, along with 40 students from Ballet Victoria Conservatory, ranging from six years old and up. This collaborative effort provides young dancers with the opportunity to work with professionals and experience the responsibilities of a full production.


Notably, since 2013, Ballet Victoria has employed members of the Victoria Symphony for performances in Victoria, eschewing pre-recorded music. This unique approach adds a new dimension to the production, providing both dancers and the audience with a different level of experience.


Source: Times Colonist