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Dance studio celebrates a decade of ‘Nutcracker’

State Street Dance Studio in Geneva is celebrating its 10th-anniversary production of the classic holiday ballet “The Nutcracker.”

This year’s production will feature professional guest artists from around the world, special effects, new backdrops and a guest appearance by Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns in State Street’s final show.

In an email, State Street Dance Studio artistic director Linda Cunningham said: “This ‘Nutcracker,’ I feel extremely blessed to have such a wonderful cultural diversity of guest artists – [it’s] so fun for the audience and cast. Every year, I have a focus for my shows. This year, being the 10th anniversary, my focus is ‘spectacular.’”

Guest artists will include two recent Joffrey Ballet principal dancers, Abigail Simon and Mauro Villanueva; Cuban natives Ariel Cisneros, formerly a Joffrey Ballet dancer; Jose de Silva of Milwaukee Ballet; Raoni Xavier of Elements Contemporary Ballet; and Edson Caberara of Hedwig Dances.  

Cia Brasileira de Ballet in Brazil students Gustavo Carvalho de Mendonça, 17, and Yasmin Lomondo Caetano dos Santos, 16, will perform a special Pas de Deux in the beginning of the show’s second act.

The Drosselmeyer will be played by former Inaside Dance Chicago dancer and recent Broadway performer Michael Darnell, who has performed in the State Street production for five years.  

“I want my cast to leave everything out on the stage and be able to look back 20 years from now and say to themselves, ‘I was a part of something real and magical – I did that,’ and that will be spectacular for both the cast, as well as the audience, to be a part of,” Cunningham said in the email.

“Nutcracker” performances will take place at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, 1201 Main St., Batavia. The entrance to the center is off of Wilson Street.

Audience members can purchase tickets for a behind-the-scenes tour and meet-and-greet after the Saturday matinee performance. Tours will be led by the Nutcracker and Cunningham, and also will include photo opportunities with the Nutcracker or a Sugar Plum Fairy on stage. Behind-the-scenes tickets cost $50.

For the first time, there will be VIP seating in the first three rows of the orchestra section of the theater. VIP seating costs $40 a person. General seating costs $25 to $35 for adults and $20 to $30 for children ages 10 and younger.

To purchase tickets, contact State Street Dance Studio by calling 630-232-0444 or visiting

• Kane County Chronicle features editor Kara Silva contributed to this story.

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