The quintessential Christmas classic, Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT) bring back The Nutcracker this holiday season. First staged in 2011, The Nutcracker brings audiences on a journey through the pre-WWI, turn of the century Shanghai featuring favourite and familiar characters including Clara, the Snow Queen, the Sugar Plum fairy and her Cavalier. Based on a story by E.T.A Hoffman, featuring the adventures of Clara after she receives a beautifully crafted doll from Dr. Drosselmeyer during a Christmastime celebratory party. With choreography and staging by SDT Artistic Director Janek Schergen, set to a vibrant score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, with some of the world’s most iconic tunes, this enchanting ballet will feature a spectacular set and gorgeous costumes by local designer Aaron Yap, as well as characters that will dance their way into your hearts!
Here are five questions with SDT principal dancer Rosa Park, who will be performing her swan song at The Nutcracker this December.
- Hi Rosa, what got you into ballet? Was it a childhood ambition?
I feel very blessed as my mother exposed me to many different activities when I was younger. I went for gymnastics, swimming, piano and ballet classes. I fell in love with the pretty pink skirts and tutus and of course I loved to move and dance. Initially, I went for classes just once a week until one day I decided it is something I want to do everyday or even whole day and I wouldn’t get tired of it. Things escalated when I joined the Arts school at the age of 13 and until now I feel the same way or even more in to dancing than I felt 25years ago. I love dancing very much as it is a childhood dream come true.
- Tell us more about your role in The Nutcracker.
The Nutcracker is a well-known story made into ballet and unlike any other serious ballet pieces it is a family friendly piece. Every company has a slightly different interpretation. In this production I am “Marie” and the story starts at her house with lots of guests gathered for a Christmas party. Marie falls in love with one of the guest, “Kristian”. Marie also has a younger sister “Clara” who later helps Kristian to fight the mouse king. And in act 2, I dance the role of “Sugarplum fairy”, dancing with “Cavalier”, thanking Clara for helping Kristian to fight the mouse king.
- Which is your favourite scene from The Nutcracker.
My favourite part is the snow scene at the end of act 1 which comes right after the battle between soldiers and mice. The whole act 2 is also a variety of different dances so it will be very interesting for children and parents to watch.
- What do you have planned now that The Nutcracker would be your last performance?
My life never panned out as I planned. So I just went along with what I felt was right for me and what interested me the most. I know it sounds too spontaneous, but at least I always got to do what I liked at that very moment and was happy about it. But for now, before I move on to the next chapter of my life, I would like to spend more time with my kids. So, I guess this answers your question, the next chapter of my life currently is blank, and I intend to fill it out with what I feel right for me.
- Any words of encouragement for the young ones who are thinking of being a ballerina when they grow up?
I want to tell the younger dancers that behind every beautiful dancer is not all the pink and pretty sparkles you see on stage. You have to work constantly on it for a long time. There will be days that it feels impossible or days you see hope but no matter how difficult or long it takes, trust yourself and keep dreaming for what you really want. Dreams do come true if you don’t give up, so just take it one day at a time. I think it is not just for ballet but in life once you find something you really like to do, try making it into something you are great at!
We are giving away 4 pairs of tickets to The Nutcracker by Singapore Dance Theatre (worth $50 each) to our Instagram followers! Want to know how you can get your hands on them? Head on down to our Instagram (@ParentsWorldSG) for more details!
Date and time: 7 – 11 Dec, various timings
Price: $30, $50, $70 (Sistic fees apply)
Venue: Esplanade Theatre
Suitable for: Whole family
Special Group of 4 Package @ 25% discount