Online only: 'The Nutcracker' celebrates 20 years

A scene from Beth Fowler's production of "The Nutcracker".
A scene from Beth Fowler's production of "The Nutcracker".

DeKALB – The Beth Fowler Dance Company will bring holiday magic and visions of Sugar Plums to the stage with its 20th annual production of Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas ballet, "The Nutcracker." This season’s production features special guest artists from the Joffrey Ballet and Los Angeles.

The company will perform at the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb Dec. 6 and 7 and at St. Charles North High School Dec. 14 and 15.

The company’s version captures the charm and joy of large family holiday gatherings. The ballet opens with guests traveling to a family Christmas Eve party in 19th-century Germany. During the party, young Clara is given a nutcracker toy soldier by her toymaker godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer.

In Clara's dream that night, the nutcracker comes to life. Rats and toy soldiers engage in a midnight battle with a final duel between the Rat King and the Nutcracker. The victorious Nutcracker is transformed into a prince and escorts Clara 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.

Guest artists performing as the Nutcracker Prince/Cavalier are Micah Moch and Ariel Cisneros. Moch, of Los Angeles, will perform in the DeKalb performances. Cisneros, of the Joffrey Ballet, dances with the company in the St. Charles performances.

Featured company dancers are Mary Rose Fair as Clara and Rachael Kollins as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Rachel Olson and Haly Young are double-cast as the Christmas Fairy and the Snow Queen. Larry Pool and Wade Tischhauser are double-cast as the Snow King.

Other members of the large cast include company soloists and students from the Beth Fowler School of Dance in the children’s roles.

Choreography is by artistic director Beth Fowler, assisted by Miranda Cortes, Hannah Smith and Brooke Fowler. Original choreography by Lev Ivanov is used in the Grand Pas De Deux.

The production includes special effects such as falling snow, large gift boxes containing life-size dolls, a magical growing Christmas tree and a lighted swan-sleigh that carries Clara on her enchanted journey.

'The Nutcracker'

7 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7

2 p.m. Dec. 8

The Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., DeKalb

Adults $22, children 12 and younger $17; Premium seating for the DeKalb performances is $22 for children and $25 for adults

All children's tickets include a backstage pass to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Tickets for the DeKalb production are available at www.egyptiantheatre.org or 815-758-1225. Tickets for the St. Charles production are available at www.bethfowlerschoolofdance.com or 630-945-3344. Tickets for all performances will also be available at the door.

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