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Les Grands Ballets Canadiens
NDG teen to perform in The Nutcracker
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 21 octobre 2010
Photo Anja Karadeglija
Emma Dixon-Cahn outside the Collège de Montréal, where she is in the dance option of the arts stream.

Emma Dixon-Cahn is thinking about the Christmas season already – but it’s not because of presents, the tree, or any of the usual reasons.

Instead, since mid-September, the 14-year-old has been preparing for her debut on the stage with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in their production of The Nutcracker.

“I’m looking forward to it a lot,” she said.

Emma auditioned for three different roles before she was given a part as one of the rats.

“I was very happy, because the first audition, I was too stressed,” she explained. “By the time I was at the third audition, I just felt whatever was going to happen is whatever’s going to happen.”

Emma is in the “artis magia” program at the Collège de Montréal. Though she is in the dance option of the arts stream at the school, she said that the role she will play in The Nutcracker is more theatrical than some of the other roles in the production.

“It was when the first rat comes in… the rat is exploring the stage and trying not to be caught by all the soldiers,” she said, describing the scene she had to act out for the audition. “You had to come in on the stage, look around and… run around a little and explore.”

Emma explained that the elaborate costumes the rat characters wear might prove to be a bit of a challenge.

“It really is exciting, but at the same time, it’s like ‘what am I going to look like up there?’” she said. “Because the costumes are very complicated… they have these huge helmets on us.”

Her mom, Lisa Cahn, said that she is proud of how Emma handled the auditions process. For one role, 50 kids auditioned, and two were chosen.

To prepare her daughter for the possibility of rejection, she asked Emma: “Do you really want to go through slush and cold winter, running back and forth with a backpack to rehearsals and the stress and the sore feet… and tired and having exams and studying and homework?”

As the time of the production draws closer, Cahn said that “it’s going to be fun, wild, crazy, and exciting, and I think we are going to have a really anti-climactic January.”

[Anja Karadeglija]

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