'The Nutcracker' returns to the Egyptian stage

The Beth Fowler Dance Company will open its 2016-2017 season with its annual production of "The Nutcracker," to be performed two consecutive weekends in two locations.

The holiday classic will be performed at DeKalb’s Egyptian Theater at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. Additional performances will be at St. Charles North High School at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 and 2 p.m. Dec. 11.

Many area families have made this magical production a part of their holiday tradition. With beautiful dancing, costumes and stage sets, this popular holiday fantasy tells a story that can make one feel like a child at Christmas.

The ballet, featuring the music of Tchaikovsky, tells the story of young Clara who receives a toy soldier nutcracker at her family Christmas party. That night, her dreams take her into a world where the Nutcracker comes to life and defeats the Rat King in a midnight battle. The Nutcracker is transformed into a Prince and escorts Clara on a magical adventure through a snowy forest into the Land of the Sweets.

Featured Company dancers are Cameron Holst of Marengo as Clara; Hannah Whitten of Genoa as the Sugar Plum Fairy; Becky Baert of Genoa as the Christmas Fairy and the Rat King; Sonia Gaytan of Genoa as the Rose Queen; and Alyssa Meier of Sycamore as the Snow Queen. Guest artist Wade Tischhauser of Chicago, a frequent performer with the Company, performs as the Snow King. Guest artist Taylor Maurchie-Banks, a dance major at Northern Illinois University, will perform as the Nutcracker Prince/Cavalier.

Guest artist Larry Pool of Rockford will perform as the Arabian King with Beth Fowler as the Arabian Queen. Herr Drosselmeyer, Clara’s toymaker godfather, will be portrayed by Phil Masterton of Rockford.

Choreography is by artistic director Beth Fowler assisted by Brooke Fowler. Original choreography in the grand pas de deux is by Lev Ivanov.

Reserved tickets can be purchased in advance. Each child’s ticket includes a meet-and-greet with the Sugar Plum Fairy and friends. To purchase tickets, visit Tickets also may be purchased at the door one hour before each performance.

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