The Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker Review- Chicago's annual performance never fails to amaze

The Joffrey Ballet Chicago once again amazes its audience with its annual performance of Chicagolands most popular family holiday event, The Nutcracker, which first premiered here in 1996.  This year the beautiful performance will last 10 days, December 18-28, and the auditorium will unquestionably be packed to the seams every evening.  Eager eyes are hypnotized as they watch the magical performance put on by the full Joffrey Ballet Company and more than 120 young dancers ages eight to fourteen.  Beautiful music of local children’s choruses will fill the ears as well.  What a wonderful way to start- or end -the busy holiday season.

Children make up a huge part of the cast of The Nutcracker

As the lights dim low the dancers begin to float across the stage, so lightly and silently, it is as if they are flying through the air. The anticipation of what will come next keeps little girls on the edge of their seats, and little boys have a gleam in their mischievous eyes as the life size toy soldiers and the famous Mouse King battle it out across the stage with wooden swords.  The children are not the only ones who will enjoy this stunning masterpiece- the stage settings are so intricate and the performance so enchanting that it will be a memorable experience for all ages, no matter 5 or 105.  It is hard to take your eyes away from the stage for the 2 hour performance.

Beautiful dancers float across the stage

Opening night this holiday season started with a $100,000 award presented to Ashley C. Wheater, the Artistic Director of The Joffrey, for his continued amazing work over the years.  Wheater is a former dancer, having trained at one of the most prestigious Ballet schools in the world, and has held careers with several major dancing companies as well as judging many international competitions.  Because of this he has a huge understanding and interest in the the international dance community. 

Skilled dancers and beutiful sets

This recognition was presented by The Boeing Company, and is called the Boeing Game Changer.  The thought and reason for this award is The Joffrey’s continuing effort to support and grow the diverse community behind its performances and the future of ballet.  Wheater spends an amazing amount of time, money and heart in addressing the racial inequality of modern ballet.  The hope behind this recognition is the continued effort to offer grants and funding to all locations of Chicago, and to further unite all communities and backgrounds in The Joffrey’s performances as well as in Ballet throughout the world.  This funding will also help the launch of the Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, which will open its doors January of 2009, less than a month away. 

Snow Fairies little feet patter across the stage

The Joffrey 2008/2009 season will continue with many more magnificent productions.  If you would like to experience The Nutcracker, or any other of the stunning shows offered, tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster or directly at the Joffrey Ballet’s official box office.  For the remaining performances of The Nutcracker, there will be special $15 college and graduate student rush tickets offered one hour before curtain for all still available tickets, and all that is needed is a current student ID.  Happy Holidays!

The Joffrey Ballet
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University
M–F 12:00 – 6:00pm
Box Office: 50 E Congress Pkwy

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