Greenwood Skating Club’s Nutcracker on Ice a community Christmas tradition

Kirk Starratt kstarratt@kingscountynews.ca
Published on December 20, 2016

10-year-old Ashlynn Clarke played Clara for the first time while 17-year-old Alex Robert returned as The Nutcracker in the Greenwood Skating Club’s 2016 rendition of The Nutcracker on Ice.

©Kirk Starratt

GREENWOOD, NS - It was an opportunity to showcase skating skills while performing for friends and family members in what has become an annual Christmas tradition for the community.

I really like how much interaction I get with all the other cast members being The Nutcracker, which is very fun. - Alex Robert

The Greenwood Skating Club presented The Nutcracker on Ice: A Christmas Story at the Greenwood Gardens Arena Dec. 18.

17-year-old Alex Robert of Greenwood, back again as the Nutcracker, said this is the third or fourth time he’s been in the starring role.

“I’m glad to not have to leave the role because I’m kind of used to it now. It’s like my third or fourth time being The Nutcracker, so it kind of comes naturally,” he said.

Performing in the role is different than competing. There’s less pressure and it isn’t a big deal if he makes a mistake in front of family and friends, which is refreshing.

Devyn Browne and Madison Sullivan play the Elves in The Nutcracker on Ice.

©Kirk Starratt

“I really like how much interaction I get with all the other cast members being The Nutcracker, which is very fun,” Robert said.

10-year-old Ashlynn Clarke of Greenwood, who played Clara, said this was her first time in the role. Clarke has been skating for five years and has been with the Greenwood club for four.

“A few years ago, I really didn’t have that much of a role,” Clarke said. “I was just a doll.”

Devyn Browne and Madison Sullivan play the Elves while Isla Ogltree, Connor Rice, Ashton Davis, Gabrielle Bonaparte, Kaissy Gilbert, Lillian Gosse, Owen Butler, Lexi Davis, Isabelle Green and Mackinley Darrell play the mice and Cassie Johnson plays the Mouse Queen in The Nutcracker on Ice.

©Kirk Starratt

 

She was looking forward to seeing more ice time as part of the starring role and having more of a routine this year, although there were a few jitters to contend with.

“It makes me feel a bit nervous, actually, because I’m not really used to all of that attention,” Clarke said.

She said learning new skills and the feeling of landing a jump for the first time, for example, are among the things she loves about skating. It’s fun to combine these abilities with a more theatrical-style performance in the role of Clara.

Taylor Cox, Madeline Boudreau, Hailey Boulard, Jesee Talbot, Rochelle Hayward and Grace Vardy play snowflakes in The Nutcracker on Ice.

©Kirk Starratt

Greenwood Skating Club president Adele Robert said this is the eleventh year the club has done a Christmastime production of The Nutcracker on Ice. They have 137 members, ranging in age from three to 62. About 75 were involved in the show.

“We most look forward to getting all our skaters together to show off what they’ve learned since September,” Robert said. “It’s become quite a Christmas tradition around Greenwood and the surrounding area.”

Lauren Young plays the Tea Princess in The Nutcracker on Ice.

©Kirk Starratt

She said there are some community members who attend year after year. There are several seniors who come who don’t have grandchildren involved but have made attending part of their annual Christmas celebrations.

When it comes to the skaters, Robert said perhaps the part they enjoy most is getting to put costumes on and getting to pretend. They also enjoy practicing their routines and showing off how well they can skate.

kstarratt@kingscountynews.ca

Baily Cox plays the Russian Princess in The Nutcracker on Ice.

©Kirk Starratt

Avery McKinnon, Brielle DeBruin, Lydia Littlejohn, Sophie Marshall, Chloe Conrod and Brooklyn Clouter play cookies and Melanie Gunn plays Mother Ginger in The Nutcracker on Ice.

©Kirk Starratt

Brooke Johnson plays Hot Chocolate in The Nutcracker on Ice.

©Kirk Starratt

The horses, Kai Ratelle and Wyatt Isnor, pull Clara – Ashlynn Clarke - and The Nutcracker – Alex Robert - in a sleigh.

©Kirk Starratt

Members of the Greenwood Skating Club making up the cast of The Nutcracker on Ice gather to take a bow at the conclusion of the show.

©Kirk Starratt