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Probably the last program produced by the defunct performing arts unit of the CBC (which isn't fit to be called a public broadcaster any more given that it's dedicated mostly to UK imports and Hockey Night in Canada), The Secret of the Nutcracker is primarily a drama, but features some dancing from the Alberta Ballet in choreography by Jean Grand-Maître. Starring Brian Cox as Drosselmeyer, the plot concerns a young Canadian girl anxious about her father, who is fighting overseas during WWII. The CBC web site doesn't have anything posted yet, but Alberta Ballet's site says the film will air on December 19.



In Canada, at least, the film will also be available on DVD.


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The program is scheduled to air on Friday, December 19 at 8:00 p.m. local time and 8:30 p.m. in Newfoundland. The CBC promises "limited interruptions."

Although it's primarily a drama, dance is prominent in several scenes. As for pure dance, there are two sequences: a sort of 'dream ballet' in which Galien Johnston and Kelley McKinlay step in for the heroine's parents, and a solo for the Nutcracker, performed by Christopher Gray to the music of the Spanish dance. I rather liked the film, though the opening sequence is inexplicably choppy. I would've thought that the scene in which the heroine dreams she is being pursued by ravenous wolves/Nazis would be far too frightening for children, but I suppose the filmmakers' rationale for including it is that kids these days see far scarier things in Harry Potter films.

The film doesn't appear to be available through Canadian Amazon any longer, though it can be purchased through the CBC shop:


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