ST. CHARLES – To usher in the magic of the holiday season, the Beth Fowler Dance Company and Beth Fowler School of Dance will present “The Nutcracker” ballet at 1 and 6 p.m. Dec. 15 at St. Charles North High School.
Dancers and artists, from beginners to professionals, share the stage. Last year, the 25th anniversary celebration saw the addition of new props, scenery and special effects, including “snow” falling not only on stage, but in the audience, a news release stated. And the fresh touches are back.
Among the members of the Beth Fowler Company for whom this season will mark their final bow in the production is Anne Fritsch, 17, of West Chicago, a senior at St. Charles East High School. She will dance the role of the Snow Queen. Dressed in a shimmering white tutu, the Snow Queen closes the first act of the show, partnering with the Snow King in a routine with her corps of Snowflakes, setting the stage for Clara to journey on a magical sleigh into the Land of Sweets in Act 2.
“I couldn’t believe it, getting this part,” Fritsch stated in the release. “It’s such a beautiful dance; I’ve always been amazed by it.”
Fritsch has danced with BFSD for the past eight years.
“To get to dance this role in my final ‘Nutcracker,’ it’s really wonderful,” Fritsch said.
Kaitlynn Rollo also will dance in her final “Nutcracker” with the company before she graduates from St. Charles North High School.
Rollo, 17, of South Elgin, will perform the part of the Rose Queen, who presides over the "Waltz of the Flowers."
Rollo, who has danced since she was 2 years old, said she has dreamed of playing the part.
“The choreography is so elegant and graceful,” Rollo stated. “When I found out that I got the part of Rose Queen, I was so happy and surprised, I started to tear up a little. This has always been my dream role ever since I started at BFSD. It is such a beautiful solo, and I love the song.”
Along with the graduating seniors, dancer Abby Lewis will lead the cast as Clara.
Lewis, 16, of St. Charles, has danced with BFDC Artistic Director Beth Fowler for the past nine years. Lewis said she has dreamed of playing Clara since she participated in her first BFSD “Nutcracker” production at the age of 7.
“I said at the time, ‘That’s going to be me,’” Lewis said. “And this year, when I saw the cast list, 7-year-old me was just freaking out on the inside. To be able to bring this story to life, as Clara? It’s just so special.”
Brady McCue, of St. Charles, will dance the role of Fritz.
Each child’s ticket includes a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with the Sugar Plum Fairy and other performers. To purchase tickets, visit www.BethFowlerDanceCompany.com. Tickets also may be purchased at the door beginning one hour before each performance.