Ballet a holiday tradition
DeKALB – The 19th annual production of "The Nutcracker" by the Beth Fowler Dance Company will be performed at DeKalb’s historic Egyptian Theatre at 7 p.m. on December 7 and 8 and at 2 p.m. on December 8 and 9.
Artistic Director Beth Fowler has added new scenes, choreography and characters to the production to showcase the talents of the growing dance company.
The newly created character of the Christmas Fairy waves a magic wand that causes magical visions to appear, telling the story.
Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet tells the story of Clara receiving a toy soldier nutcracker at her family’s Christmas Eve party. The Nutcracker comes to life in Clara’s dream, defeats the Rat King and turns into a Prince. He escorts her on a wondrous journey through a snowy forest to the Land of the Sweets. They meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and others who entertain with delightful dances.
Featured company dancers are Rachel Olson as Clara, Miranda Cordes as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Rachael Kollins as the Christmas Fairy, Hannah Smith as the Rat King, Keeley Sawyer as the Rose Queen and Melanie Elsenbroek and Larry Pool as the Snow Queen and King.
Guest artists are Bryan Conner of Chicago, who performs as the Nutcracker Prince/Cavalier, and Ryan Kane of Northern Illinois University, who performs with Hannah Smith as the Arabian Coffee couple. Guest artist Micah Moch of Los Angeles returns to perform with the company in several divertissements. Since his last performance with the company he appeared in the movie "Avatar."
Dance company soloists are Mary Rose Fair as the Jester Doll, Haly Young as the Ballerina Doll, Cassandra Steffey as the Russian Doll, Alycia Aldaz as the Angel Soloist, Kelly Bolander as the Spanish Soloist, Cara Birschbach as the Chinese soloist and Brooke Fowler as the Candy Cane Queen.
Choreography is by Artistic Director Beth Fowler, assisted by Miranda Cordes, Hannah Smith and Tamera Newquist. Original choreography in the pas de deux is by Lev Ivanov.
The production includes beautiful costuming, large gift boxes containing life-size dolls, a lighted swan-like sleigh that carries Clara on her enchanted journey and special effects such as falling snow and a magical growing Christmas tree.
Stage props were designed and constructed by Bob Fowler. Costume coordinator is Madlyn Steffey. Volunteer coordinator is Britni Michael.
All tickets are reserved seating and are available online at www.egyptiantheatre.org. Tickets are $15 for children age 12 and younger and $20 for adults. Tickets will also be available at the door one hour before each performance. The Egyptian Theatre is located at 135 N. Second St. in DeKalb.