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Nov 30, 2016 >> The Nutcracker’s Newest Additions [VIDEO]


Before Santa and his reindeers, the magical imagery surrounding the holidays beckoned from the stage. THE NUTCRACKER with is unforgettable Tchaikovsky score has and will always be a holiday mainstay. Countless ballet companies have reimagined the battle of gingerbread soldiers with sinister mice, the enchantment of the sugar plum fairies and elegance of pirouetting snowflakes. And this year, the JOFFREY BALLET will transport audiences to a magical moment in the city’s history—The Nutcracker set at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Fair. It’s an enchanting—and unprecedented!—undertaking headlined by acclaimed choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.

The two-act ballet will feature six new dancers to the prestigious ballet company; Aaron Renteria, Riley Horton, Chloe Sherman, Lucia Connolly, Yumi Kanazawa, Olivia Tang-Mifsud and Alonso Tepetzi. Ranging in age from 19 to 25, many of these young dancers have dreamed of being part of The Nutcracker since the first time they put on their slippers. And their undeniable freedom and fervor on the stage makes this show so much more magical.

Joffrey’s Artistic Director Ashley Wheater explains that choosing the right dancer for each role within The Nutcracker goes beyond bravura and flashy tricks, and there’s never a certain type. “Joffrey dancers have always been individuals, as diverse as the people of our country,” says Ashley. “They must be technically accomplished, and they must find purpose in their dancing. Artistry is found in musicality and the way one gestures organically progresses into another.”

Watch our behind-the-scenes video into the heart and soul of the new dancers of the JBC corps as they embark on the exciting world premiere of Chicago’s The Nutcracker.


Want a little sneak peek into the new workings of the classic story? Act one opens on Christmas Eve, 1892, as workers construct the Chicago Columbian World’s Exposition. The creator of the World’s Fair Impresario and his apprentice Peter, arrive to entertain the workers with an enchanting vision of his fair while distributing gifts, including a nutcracker for Marie. And the rest, you’ll have to wait and see!

Don’t miss this dreamy, holiday-filled epic that pays homage to one of ballet’s finest stories and the great city of Chicago. With only 27 performances in December, The Nutcracker will quickly become the hottest ticket in town. This $4 million production includes an award-winning team of creatives in the tops of their fields including Tony Award-nominated set and costume designer Julian Crouch of Hedwig and the Angry Inch to author and illustrator Brian Selznick and many more. Delight in the newest classic and watch these young dancers embark on a career of a lifetime.

The Nutcracker runs December 10th through 30th at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway; Tickets $40-$90. Visit for more information and tickets.

Want more Holiday? See more festive fun here.

Text by Alaina Africano