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The performance is scheduled to be made at Hamilton Place, the Cuban National Ballet and Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble Present a Most Special Christmas Classic.

It is all about candy canes and sugar plums. It is all about fairies and princesses. It is all about dancing snowflakes, floating as softly and as effortless as delicate feathers blown in the winter breeze. It is about legions of mice delightfully battling each other. It is all about that and much more. Lots more!

It is magician Dosselmayer, little Clara’s godfather, presenting her on Christmas Eve with the gift of the lovely wooden soldier thus initiating the drama about to unfold. But most of all it is all about little Clara literally taking the audience by the hand and immersing everyone into a marvellous world of dreams created for children and adults everywhere.

When Dosselmayer’s lovely present for Clara breaks, it signals the start of a fantasy journey in which all the little toys under the family Christmas tree come alive as real as only a child’s imagination will allow. It is The Nutcracker in all its colourful, unforgettable splendour. It is as authentic and original as only the genius of Prima Ballerina Assoluta Alicia Alonso, artistic director of the Cuban National Ballet, could conceive.

Choreographed by the primerisima ballerina Alicia Alonso on the original by Lev Ivanov (music by Russian composer Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky; scripted by Marius Petipa and based on the free version of Alexandre Dumas Pere of the story The Nutcracker and the King of the Mice, by E.T.A. Hoffmann), The Nutcracker was first staged in the St. Petersburg Theatre, Russia, on December 17, 1892.

Over one hundred years after its initial debut, it returns to Hamilton Place to launch the traditional Christmas Season festivities in grand style. Co-produced by the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble, The Nutcracker, as beautiful and dazzling as
ever, features the best dancers of the Cuban National Ballet accompanied by a wonderful ensemble of Canadian children.

This year’s spectacle at Hamilton Place however is more than a repeat performance of the Christmas classic. It is unquestionably a major success story. For dozens of children with the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble dancing in The Nutcracker represents the culmination of a real magic journey, a dream come true and a personal success story.

After months of rehearsals under the guidance of Master Instructors with the Cuban School of Ballet, the Canadian children will dance in Hamilton exactly the same roles that they have been invited to perform for the first time ever on January 2010
as special guests of the Cuban National Ballet in the hallowed stage of Havana, Cuba.

For their parents, relatives and friends, as well as for the general public, this Nutcracker represents a much anticipated and a most exciting preview, a sneak peak as it were, of the sugar plums and fairy tales which, now staged in the Hamilton
winter, will a month from now be performed in tropical Havana before one of the most discerning audiences in the world of ballet. A tall order indeed but one that in which the children’s proven abilities, their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm
will make Canada proud.

In January 2009, Belma Gurdil-Diamante CEO, Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble, signed a working agreement establishing the Cuban School of Ballet, Hamilton Affiliate of the National Ballet of Cuba. Under the agreement Master Instructors from the National Ballet of Cuba would teach the Cuban ballet technique to selected students with the CBYE.

It was agreed that each class would be taught by professional ballet masters from the BNC. Classes were designed as a combination of theoretical-practical engagement with the technique and interpretive concepts of the Cuban style of ballet.

Classes focused on the physical preparation and performance qualities of the dancer.

“Signing that agreement was truly a momentous event for us,” said Ms. Gurdil-Diamante.“Madame Alonso, artistic director and founder of BNC, was so impressed by the discipline and the talent of our local young dancers that she agreed wholeheartedly to open a Cuban School of Ballet in Hamilton. It took a year of negotiations and a great deal of work (to reach the agreement) but it was well worth every minute we spent working on it. Look at us now: almost exactly a year after signing it, our dancers have been invited to share the stage in January 2010 with the Cuban National Ballet and to perform The Nutcracker in Havana. It is absolutely a thrilling accomplishment!”

For anyone who can trade a week of winter in Canada for sunny Havana in January 2010, attending the performance of The Nutcracker in the Cuban capital would be a real treat. If that is not possible, Hamilton Place will satisfy the most demanding tastes for the Christmas classic of all times.

The Nutcracker, featuring The National Ballet of Cuba, direction by Alicia Alonso, will performed at Hamilton Place for School Matinees on Thursday, December 10th at 10:30 AM and on Friday, December 11th at 10:30 AM.

For the general public the performances will take place at Hamilton Place on Friday, December 11th at 7:30 PM; on Saturday, December 12th at 2:00 PM and at 7:30 PM and on Sunday, December 13th at 2:00 PM.

The Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble welcomes the ballet performances with the Hamilton Nutcracker Festival featuring the Sugar Plum Fair, a wonderful array of gifts specially selected to warm the hearts and to accessorize the home at Christmas time. and CBYE Media Releases

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