Dancers to perform in Nutcracker ballet

Ready for  the Nutcracker ballet are, back from left,  Mallaidh McGivern (13) and Ella Marshall (9), and front from left, Emily McKeown (9) and Zarah Freeburn (9). INPT51-002
Ready for the Nutcracker ballet are, back from left, Mallaidh McGivern (13) and Ella Marshall (9), and front from left, Emily McKeown (9) and Zarah Freeburn (9). INPT51-002

Four Portadown dancers are set to take to the Dublin stage in the Nutcracker ballet this month.

Mallaidh McGivern (13), Ella Marshall (9), Emily McKeown (9) and Zarah Freeburn (9) successfully auditioned to perform in the Monica Loughman’s Ballet production of the Russian classic.

Monica is considered Ireland’s top ballerina and her production of the Nutcracker sold out every venue of its 2011 tour.

The local dancers, who attend Portadown Dance College, formerly Donna Whitten Dance School, are busy with rehearsals for their roles as children and mice.

The Nutcracker is a magical Christmas story about a little girl called Clara who falls asleep after the Christmas party and dreams that one of her toys – the handsome Nutcracker Prince – comes to life and takes her off to the land of sweets. On their journey they meet the sugar plum fairy, battle with mouse armies and dance with performers from all over the world.

As well as rehearsals, the local girls are also preparing for their exams in ballet and tap, which are scheduled for Christmas time.

Mallaidh has recently completed her grade five musical theatre exam while Ella, who won Miss NI Charity 2014 at this year’s Face of Northern Ireland Pagent, went on to take the titles of Miss Charity and Miss Congeniality in Disneyland Paris in November.

Emily recently won the Junior Pentathlon at Banbridge Speech and Drama festival, as well as the Northern Ireland Dance Championship with her ballet solo. Meanwhile, Zarah took one of the lead roles as Cosette in the MADS production of Les Miserables during the summer.

Monica Loughman’s Nutcracker will take place at the Convention Centre, Dublin, tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday.