artandculture Ballet

The Nutcracker Ballet at McAninch Arts Center

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 Jen Lezan

Every year, there is one tradition that truly gets me into the holiday spirit and that is attending the Nutcracker ballet. I don't always get out to Chicago to see the major performance at the Joffrey, but even the smaller performances in the burbs give me the chills. This year, I am excited to see Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet performs its 26th annual production of “The Nutcracker” at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at College of Dupage. Check back next week for a full recap.


If you haven't experienced "The Nutcracker", this is an amazing opportunity to see a professional scale performance outside of the city limits. This upcoming weekend, performances will be taking place on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 2 and 7 p.m. as well as on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 1 and 5 p.m. The New Philharmonic, under the baton of Maestro Kirk Muspratt, will perform Tchaikovsky’s classic “Nutcracker” score live for this full-scale, enchanting and lavish production.

MAC Director, Diana Martinez highlights that, “there are very few opportunities to see this beloved classic performed to live music." The New Philharmonic will truly bring this classic family friendly story to life with a live musical performance.  This year’s production features a slew of dancers from Chicago and Chicago suburbs including Bolingbrook, Darien, Glen Ellyn, Homer Glen Lisle, Naperville, Plainfield, Wheaton and Woodridge, and even as far as Moline.

The dancers will be joined by well known guest artists in principal roles including former Joffrey Ballet company member Michael Anderson (Uncle Drosselmeyer), founding member of River North Dance Chicago Jeff Hancock (Herr Silberhaus), former Joffrey Ballet dancer and Houston Ballet principal Randy Herrera (Snow King, Cavalier, and Arabian), former apprentice with Inaside Chicago Dance Patrick Ingram (Mouse King), former Milwaukee Ballet principal dancer Deanna Stetsura (Snow Queen, Sugar Plum Fairy and Arabian) and former River North Dance Chicago dancer Jeff Wolfe (Nutcracker Prince).

The design team for this production includes Sahin Sahinoglu (set design), and Jeff Hendry and Oswaldo Muniz (costume design). Production stage manager is Tina Salamone. The set is sure to be a magical experience.

“The Nutcracker,” featuring the music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, is a classic holiday fairy tale ballet in two acts. As a family’s Christmas Eve party ends, a dream takes the young daughter Clara to a magical world where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Snow Queen, dancing snowflakes and many other enchanting characters.

Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet, under the artistic direction of Ken Von Heidecke, produces a repertoire of classical, romantic, and neoclassical works focusing upon the great musical compositions of the 19th and 20th century masters. Von Heidecke opened The Von Heidecke Dance Center in 1991 in Naperville, Ill. as a training center for young dancers to learn the art of classical ballet. 

You can get more information about the MAC HERE and order tickets ($43 for adults and $32 for youth) online HERE.


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