Goh Ballet
The Nutcracker

Dates and Venue 17-19 Dec @ 7.30pm, 20 Dec @2pm | Centre for the Performing Arts, Vancouver

Reviewer RM Pink

Another bright step forward in their ballet repertoire for this new version of the Nutcracker, The Goh Ballet continues providing quality classical ballet training and performance in Vancouver and beyond.

The founders, Lin Yee and Choo Chiat Goh, former principal dancers in China, are a shining presence on the dance landscape. Thier illustrious daughter, Chan Hon Goh, was a student of the Goh Ballet, and then started her remarkable career with the National Ballet of Canada, rising to the rank of principal dancer. She retired in 2008.

As a dancer, Chan Hon has a special relationship with the dancers and the choreography. Now venturing into a wider ballet role, she served as artistic coordinator for the Goh Ballet production of the Nutcracker. The results were impressive. The December 18th performance featured Damien Carriere in the role of Drosselmeyer; Chihiro Abe as Clara and Aaron Mah as Fritz. All moved with grace and energy.

The featured dancers, Sonia Rodriguez, principal dancer  with the National Ballet of Canada  and Piotr Stanczyk, also a principal dancer with the NBC, were stellar and evoked the enchanting dance that is essential to a successful staging. They have the unique talent of combining precision with beauty, the hallmark of all exceptional dancers.

A special note of applause goes to Anna Marie Holmes for her masterful choreography of the performance. A former dancer, she was artistic  director of the Boston Ballet for 12 years.

The set and costuming, always an essential element of the story and imagery, was wonderful and colorful. Dinghao Zhang and Ming Li are true artists of this demanding work.

Ken Hsieh was excellent conducting the talented Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra. This performance solidified the role of the Goh Ballet in staging a fine and enduring Nutcracker ballet.

© 2009 RM Pink