Valin Shinyei, right, is in the upcoming Arts Umbrella production Mixed Nuts. (Contributed)

Mixed Nuts a second year tradition for Maple Ridge dancer

Mixed Nuts is a unique interpretation of The Nutcracker

A Maple Ridge dancer will be featured in the upcoming Arts Umbrella holiday show Mixed Nuts.

This is the second year in a row for Valin Shinyei who has been dancing for 13 years.

Mixed Nuts is a unique interpretation of The Nutcracker and is modernized each year with works by local choreographers, new sets, costumes and a musical.

It features the traditional story with a twist and is updated with local stories, choreography, and a fantastic musical score.

Each performance showcases the talent of Vancouver-based choreographers and emerging dance artists.

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Dance styles in the production will include hip-hop, ballroom, and the classic grand pas-de-deux.

“This year, we’ve decided to take the show in an even more fun and engaging direction by adopting a theme based around the 1949 board game, Candy Land, “ said Arts Umbrella dance artistic director Artemis Gordon.

“In place of the traditional Chinese, Arabian, Russian, and Spanish dances, we have emphasized their candy counterparts to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth,” added Gordon.

The second act will feature a candy-inspired set, costume design, and choreography.

The family-friendly production will be filled with gingerbread people, candy canes, Hershey kisses, lollipops, chocolates, sugar plums, and cinnamon hearts, along with an array of emerging dance artists.

Shinyei has been dancing with Arts Umbrella, a rigorous program designed for dancers from the age of 6 to 22, since the fall of 2018.

Nasiv Sall of Pitt Meadows is also a dancer in the performance.

Mixed Nuts runs Dec. 13 to 15 at 7 p.m. at the Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton St. in Vancouver, with a 2 p.m. matinee Dec. 14 and 15 only.

Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for students and seniors and can be purchased at

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