BATAVIA – Fox Valley Ballet will present "The Fox Valley Nutcracker" on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre.
The production, now in its sixth year, infuses the beloved holiday classic with lavish sets, costumes, special effects and dancing set to Tchaikovsky's original score, a news release stated.
"The Fox Valley Nutcracker" was named to Pointe Magazine’s Top 10 Must See Nutcrackers in Illinois.
“Families who live in the suburbs don’t have to travel far to see a full-professional production of the 'Nutcracker',” Artistic Director Ashlie Andersen of Fox Valley Ballet stated in the news release. “Year after year, we like to bring new and fresh visual effects to our audience and keep them engaged throughout the entire production.”
The performance brings together a community of dancers from all over the Chicago suburbs, and is a collaboration between young pre-professional dancers and professional dancers from around the world. It showcases professional dancers from Joffrey Ballet, along with a Chicago troupe called Ballet 5:8, and local dancers ages 5 through adult from 25 dance studios stretching from Algonquin to Plainfield. This year, there will be more than 110 dancers in the production, including six boys, six adult males, four professional male dancers, and a child in a wheelchair.
“This year we will feature more unique production highlights, updates to the set, and some new choreography,” Andersen said. “We also have a diversity of dancers from other places joining us.”
In the spring, the nonprofit troupe gave five scholarships to dancers for summer dance programs. The winners were Ana Marie Garcia of North Aurora, Sonia Garcia of North Aurora, Aria Novak of St. Charles, Samantha Paguia of Bolingbrook and Ella June-Wilke of Aurora. Award recipients for the fall scholarships will be announced at one of the "Nutcracker" productions.
In that same spirit, characters from the show visit the pediatric department at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield and distribute gifts to the children there. They also perform and cook meals for the families at the nearby Ronald McDonald House. In addition, they will participate in the Holiday Lights Parade on November 22 in Aurora.
"The Fox Valley Nutcracker" depends on the families of the dancers to volunteer, as well as monetary donations from the community to keep the production alive.
“It really does take the community to bring this spectacular performance to the stage," Andersen said. "We are grateful to our partners and welcome the support. Because we are a nonprofit, we rely on the generosity of donors. We have many opportunities for businesses to sponsor the production.”
If you go
WHAT: "The Fox Valley Nutcracker"
WHERE: Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1399 W. Wilson St.
WHEN: 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 30 and 2 p.m. Dec. 1
COST: $25 to $35 for adults and $20 to $30 for children age 10 and younger; with VIP seating available