On top of Christmas trees, fighting mice, and a handsome prince, a local production of The Nutcracker also features a fearsome 11-year-old general.
River Heights’ Daniel Borrett has taken on the brave role of Dieter in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s (RWB) The Nutcracker. This is not the first time that Borrett has taken on the famous Christmas tale, but it is the first time he gets to portray Dieter.
"Dieter is kind of like a role model for the little kids who come to the party, he’s kind of a troublemaker," said Borrett. "Then when the battle scene comes (he) becomes a general-type figure."
The Grade 6 Nordale School student is no stranger to the stage. He has danced in Princess and the Goblin, and twice as one of the party kids at the party in The Nutcracker. Playing the role of a party kid following Dieter around in previous years, he was able to watch how previous dancers portrayed him.
"So it kind of taught me some of the fun stuff that he did," said Borrett, who also plays piano and enjoys math and science.
Borrett is working with some older dancers in the show and said he is learning a lot from them.
"You get to look up to them," Borrett said. "You think ‘Well I could be like that in four years,’ it’s nice to be able to work with older and younger dancers."
Borrett said he doesn’t have a favourite part of the show.
"I enjoy all of it," said Borrett. "But if I had to choose I’d probably say the party scene. I really like that, it’s really fun to do."
Borrett has been dancing for six years, first in the recreational program, now in the professional. His grandmother signed him up for ballet and jazz at five years old.
"Me being able to dance, it’s just really fun," said Borrett. "I love it."
Borrett has also tried Ukrainian dance, but ballet is his favourite, and his goal is to become a company dancer at the RWB.
"It’s really what I started with, it’s really what I’ve gotten used to, and I really love it," said Borrett. "It can be challenging, and working towards challenges can be rewarding."