Dancers to crack open the iconic Christmas tale

Students from Skyline Dance Studio performed an excerpt from The Nutcracker ballet Dec. 3 at the Shindig. Photo by Lisa Gervais.

In many ways, Heritage Ballet’s The Nutcracker is synonymous with the Christmas season in Haliburton County. 

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the iconic ballet returns to the stage of the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion for the 18h time this weekend, Julie Barban said Heritage Ballet is producing The Nutcracker this year but has worked with Skyline Dance Studio and utilized its dancers and space.

 Rehearsals began around the Thanksgiving Day weekend. Meanwhile, the team dug out the costumes and props. Barban said they have made some updates to costumes “because it’s been a couple of years.” 

She said Dani Smolen is making two new tutus, one for Sugar Plum and one for Dewdrop. There will be a lot of new dancers this year due to the roster at Skyline, who all want to do The Nutcracker, she said. 

This year’s main character, Marie, is played by two dancers, students Chloe Morissette and Alexis Dacey. Alyssa Morissette is the Sugar Plum Fairy. 

Sophie Longo is the Snow Queen. Michaela McCready-DeBruin is Marzipan and Avery Bullock leads the Chinese tea dance. Barban said she’s excited “and the kids are super excited” to bring the ballet back to a Haliburton County audience.

 “Especially because we have so many new kids who are doing it this year, too.” She said they have 50 children and teens. In 2019, they had 83. “But this is better, 83 is a lot and we have 14 adults.” She and the dancers can’t wait to, “be at it again and be in public, whether it’s in the audience or up on stage. It’s just so nice to be out there dancing again. “A big thank you to Skyline for their support and using their studio for rehearsal space and promoting us as well.” For dates and times and tickets, go to