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A&E

Batavia production of 'Fox Valley Nutcracker' to celebrate fifth year

Guest artists to join cast from 20 dance studios

Fox Valley Ballet dancers rehearse last year's "The Fox Valley Nutcracker" at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre. The production, returning Nov. 24 and 25, will showcase students from 20 dance studios alongside noted professional dancers.
Fox Valley Ballet dancers rehearse last year's "The Fox Valley Nutcracker" at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre. The production, returning Nov. 24 and 25, will showcase students from 20 dance studios alongside noted professional dancers.

BATAVIA – Fox Valley Ballet will present "The Fox Valley Nutcracker" on Nov. 24 and 25 at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre.

With sold-out shows last year, the beloved holiday classic features lavish sets and costumes, special effects and dancing set to Tchaikovsky's original score, a news release stated. The production has been named to Pointe Magazine’s “Top 10 Must See Nutcrackers in Illinois.”

The performance brings together a community of dancers from all over the western suburbs, and is a collaboration between young pre-professional dancers and professional dancers from around the world. It showcases professional dancers from Joffrey Ballet, along with a premier Chicago ballet company, Ballet 5:8, and local dancers ages 5 through adult from 20 dance studios.

The Grand Pas couple will be Valentino Moneglia Zamora and Yumi Kanazawa, currently dancers with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. Micah Moch will return to reprise his role as the Arabian lead and Mouse King.  Ballet 5:8 will grace the stage with Antonio Rosario and Brette Benedict as the Snow pas de deux couple.

“This year, we will feature more Ballet 5:8’s senior company members, more student soloists, and new choreography for some of the pieces,” Artistic Director Ashlie Andersen stated in the release. “We also have a full family of nine in the show – seven children and their parents. It’s going to be amazing.”

The ballet troupe gives back to the community, Andersen said.

“This year we are honored to team up with Cal’s Angels, a pediatric cancer foundation, to give a child … with cancer a walk-on role,” she said.

In that same spirit, characters from the show visit the pediatric department at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield and distribute gifts to the children there. They also perform and cook meals for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

The production depends on the families of the dancers to volunteer as well as monetary donations from the community to keep the project alive, according to Andersen.

“It really does take the community to bring this spectacular performance to the stage," she said. "We are grateful to our partners and welcome the support. Because we are a nonprofit, we rely on the generosity of donors. We have many opportunities for businesses to sponsor the production.”

Early sponsors include A Step Above Dance Academy, Skytastic Media Group and the Community Foundation of Fox River Valley.

Performances will begin at 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 24, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 25 at 1399 W. Wilson St. Tickets for adults start at $25. VIP seating is available in the first three rows of the orchestra section and includes a photo opportunity with characters after the show.

To purchase tickets, call 630-937-8930 or visit BFAC (bataviafineartscentre.org). For more information about the production, go to foxvalleynutcracker.com.

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