Beth Fowler Dance Company’s “The Nutcracker Ballet” has become a local Christmas tradition. The holiday classic has been performed live at DeKalb's Egyptian Theatre for 27 years and at St. Charles North High School for eight years.
Because of the pandemic and theaters being closed, the dance company is converting its annual "Nutcracker" show into a movie with an extended storyline, dialogue and green screen.
“We’re known for bringing stories to life on stage,” said Beth Fowler, artistic director of the Beth Fowler Dance Company. “We’ll be able to bring the story, [the] magic of Christmas and holiday magic to the movie screen. … It will be a full-length movie, not a video of a dance performance.
"We’re turning the challenging time of the pandemic into a positive opportunity," she said. "The movie showing is a new experience, something we’ve never done before. The dancers will be able to watch their own performance together with their family and friends.”
There will be 151 cast members with two casts: the Beth Fowler School of Dance for children ages 3 and older and the Beth Fowler Dance Company for eighth-grade students through adults. The company dancers will perform in both casts, with the Genoa school of dance in one cast and the St. Charles school in the other.
Filming for the movie will begin Nov. 1 in small groups. Current plans are to show the movie at the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb during the month of December with special red carpet events.
It's intended that families will be able to sit together, but all audience members will be spread throughout the theater. Only 50 people will be able to sit in the balcony and 50 on the main floor. Following health department protocols, the audience will be seated every 15 minutes. Some audience members will be sitting in front of the screen an hour before the movie starts.
To entertain the audience before the movie, and to fund raise for the cost of theater rental, movie producers and camera crew, which will cost an estimated $15,000, there are multiple opportunities for sponsorship:
$100 – Good luck message and photo
$200 – “Sponsored by” title in credits after movie
$300 – 10- to 15-second video Christmas card from a sponsor family or business
$500 – 5- to 10-second animated logo reveal video
$750 – 15-second ad
$1,000 – 30-second ad
$1,500 – 60-second ad
For more information about Beth Fowler School of Dance’s "Nutcracker" movie, visit www.BethFowlerSchoolOfDance.com.