The Centre for All Canadians

PEISO and dance umbrella to stage The Nutcracker

November 22, 2023 – The Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra (PEISO) and dance umbrella at Confederation Centre of the Arts are reuniting to stage a beloved holiday classic.

The two groups are collaborating on a production of The Nutcracker, which will have two performances at the Centre’s Sobey Family Theatre on Saturday, December 2.

The production will feature 98 students from the Centre’s dance umbrella program and 24 members of PEISO led by the Island’s own Dale Sorensen, a long-standing musician at PEISO and The Charlottetown Festival, and chair of the Department of Music at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Both groups have performed the piece before, last collaborating in 2011 on a production that featured musical selections from the ballet accompanied by scaled-down dance numbers. In 2021, dance umbrella broadened the production to feature large dance numbers performed to recorded tracks.

“This year’s production combines the best elements of those previous performances – we have expanded dance numbers and a pit orchestra providing music,” says AK Mullen Johnson, program manager for dance at the Centre. “This marks the first time many of the students will perform alongside an orchestra, which is a rare and exciting opportunity for a young dancer.”

Mullen Johnson is collaboratively choreographing the piece alongside Wanda Naylor, Kayla Shaw-Mills, and Morgan Wagner, with additional coordination from Callista McIsaac.

“Not only is The Nutcracker a part of every dance company’s DNA, but the music is iconic,” says Dale Sorensen.  “When there is an opportunity to pair this production with live music, it transforms the experience into something truly magical – for the dancers, the musicians, and the audience.”

Performances of The Nutcracker will take place on Saturday, December 2 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at, via phone at 1-800-565-0278, or in person at the Centre’s box office.


Photo cutline: The Nutcracker performed by dance umbrella students in 2021, photo by Darrell Theriault.

Media Contact:
Emily McMahon, Communications Manager, Confederation Centre of the Arts
[email protected] | 902-628-6135

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What are Relaxed Performances?


Sometimes referred to as sensory-friendly experiences, Relaxed Performances give the opportunity for those with various sensitivities towards sensory stimuli to experience and enjoy live theatre.

These performances will be designed in a way to be more comfortable for audience members who may experience anxiety or are not comfortable with some aspects of a traditional theatre setting. This can include people on the Autism Spectrum and their families; those with sensory and communicative disorders or learning disabilities; people with Tourette’s syndrome; someone who might need to move often due to chronic pain or to use the facilities; or even parents with toddlers.



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