Christmas in the Nutcracker suite

En pointe, Rebecca Karpus looks like bird on stage.

She arabesques on one leg, steps forward and pirouettes like a top.

At 15, Karpus, a dancer from Maple Ridge is a veteran of the Royal City Youth Ballet Company’s Nutcracker.

She been part of the Christmas performance for the past four years, inching her way closer to a coveted solo part.

The fairy tale of ballet in two acts and three tableaux by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky tells the story of Clara who falls asleep after a Christmas eve party and dreams herself into a fantastic world where toys become larger than life.

The full-length ballet by the RCYB Company has extravagant, colourful costumes by Chris Sinosich and features a cast of 100 dedicated and enthusiastic dancers under the direction of Dolores Kirkwood.

There are magical soldiers, mice, a Sugar Plum fairy and a growing Christmas tree, all danced to the beautiful music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker score.

This year, Karpus play three major roles in the ballet which toured the Lower Mainland and Maple Ridge through November and December.

She is crystal Snowflake in the snow scenes, one part of a duo in the Waltz of the Flowers and a Mirleton Doll.

Karpus decided to concentrate on dance over rhythmic gymnastics a few years ago and is currently enrolled in the Arts Umbrella school on Granville Island.

“I’ve found dance was more artistic,” she says.

“It gave me different movements and let me have more emotion.”

When the Nutcracker rolls around each year, Karpus says she eager to play just about any part.

“It’s turned into a bit of a family over these years.” she says.

“It’s just great to put your own spin on every role.”

• Catch Rebecca Karpus in the Nutcracker until Sunday. The next show is at the Massey Theatre in New Westminster on Friday, followed by a finale at the Centennial Arts Centre in North Vancouver. For tickets, visit www.royalcityyouthballet.org.

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