Another crack at an old favourite

The holiday season is quickly sneaking up, which means the sights and sounds of Christmas are all around us. Gaudy Christmas lights dangle off homes, businesses and trees, stores have dusted off that Boney M Christmas CD and grocery stores have stocked up on eggnog.

The holiday season is quickly sneaking up, which means the sights and sounds of Christmas are all around us.

Gaudy Christmas lights dangle off homes, businesses and trees, stores have dusted off that Boney M Christmas CD and grocery stores have stocked up on eggnog.

A somewhat classier holiday tradition will be taking place at the Yukon Arts Centre this weekend.

The Northern Lights School of Dance is staging its rendition of Tchaikovsky’s fairy tale ballet, The Nutcracker.

The show has been performed every Christmas since 2002.

But audiences can expect to see a lot of new additions to this particular run, said Deborah Lemaire, Northern Lights School of Dance principal and artistic director of the show.

“Every year, we try to tweak it here and there just to make it a little bit different for the dancers that have been doing it for a while and also for the audiences.”

The sets will also be more elaborate this year.

The production is in year two of a three-year plan to beef up its set design.

This year there is an elegant looking fireplace to fill in the parlor of the first act and a whole new Candy Land set for the second, said Lemaire.

“Before we had elegant costumes and the passion of the dancers, but our sets really lacked that sort of grandeur and passion that everything else had.”

This is also the first time in a long while that the production has been able to perform the Grand pas de deux – the famous dance between the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugarplum Fairy.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve done the Grand pas de deux,” said Lemaire.

“I finally had both male and female dancers that were at the calibre that I needed to perform this dance.”

Lemaire has been waiting for Calvin Laveck, her star male pupil, to reach that calibre.

Laveck has been dancing at the Northern Lights School of Dance since Grade 6.

“My mom got me into it,” he said.

“I decided to give it a try and started out with hip hop.”

A subsequent role in a local performance of Peter Pan got him hooked.

Now in Grade 12, this is Laveck’s last year dancing in the Yukon and taking part in the Nutcracker.

He has applied to a number of schools across Canada, but hopes to get into Sheridan College and its music theatre program.

Regardless of where he winds up going to school, he wants to continue acting, singing and dancing.

Laveck hopes to make a career out of his passion for musical theatre.

“Oh yeah, Broadway, that’s the dream,” he said.

“Working on Broadway, playing a big role like Tony from Westside Story would be fantastic.”

This is Laveck’s fifth performance in the annual production of The Nutcracker.

The 17-year-old has played everything from small roles right up to the Nutcracker/Prince.

In addition to his debut in the Grand pas de deux, Laveck plays the lead role of the prince again this year.

For a long time, Laveck was the only boy in the dance school.

He’s since been joined by Jake Ruddy and Thomas Mostyn.

“Calvin has been a terrific role model for other boys coming into the school,” said Lemaire.

“He tells the other boys, ‘Don’t just do your hip hop, come and do a ballet class and a modern class.’”

Laveck recommends dance to any young men who think they might be interested, but he’s given up trying to convince his friends to join the dance school.

“I tried when I was younger, but wasn’t very successful,” he said.

“It’s hard sometimes being the only guy in class, but it definitely isn’t a bad thing being surrounded by a group of girls.”

Laveck is pleased with the education he’s gotten while studying dance, singing and theatre in the Yukon.

While in Stratford, Ontario, during a two-week summer course, Laveck was surprised by how much he knew.

“I thought it would filled with professional kids from Toronto that would put me to shame,” he said.

“We’re so lucky up here to have the schools and facilities that we do.”

But next fall, Laveck will be moving on to bigger and better things.

“We’re going to miss him,” said Lemaire.

“He’s a talented young man and he’s been an integral part of the school.

“He’ll be terrific in anything he does.”

The Nutcracker will be presented today and tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre.

There will also be a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

Admission is $18 for adults and $12 for seniors and children under 10.

Tickets are available in advance from the arts centre box office and Arts Underground.

Contact Chris Oke at

chriso@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon RCMP are making an appeal for information in the case of Mary Ann Ollie, who was murdered in Ross River last year and whose case remains unsolved. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read