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BATAVIA | The Fox Valley Nutcracker: Continuing the Magical Tradition After Pandemic Hiatus

The Fox Valley Nutcracker on Nov. 26 and 28 at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre

The Fox Valley Nutcracker: Continuing the Magical Tradition After Pandemic Hiatus

Largest Nutcracker performance in Chicago suburbs combines the talents of professional dancers and local dancers and also gives back to the community

BATAVIA– Fox Valley Ballet, a 501c3 organization, is proud to continue the magic and present The Fox Valley Nutcracker on Nov. 26 and 28 at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre. Performances are almost sold out!

The production, now in its eighth year, is continuously described as “the best Nutcracker in the Fox Valley area and western suburbs.” With sold out shows every year, this beloved holiday classic features lavish sets, festive costumes, dazzling special effects, and beautiful dancing paired with Tchaikovsky's original score.

The Fox Valley Nutcracker has been named Pointe Magazine’s “Top 10 Must See Nutcrackers in Illinois.”

“Families who live in the suburbs don’t have to travel far to see a professional production of the Nutcracker,” said Ashlie Andersen, the Artistic Director of the Fox Valley Nutcracker. “Year after year, we like to bring new and fresh visual effects to our audience to keep them engaged and delighted. And that we did this year!” Andersen continues to utilize her family’s background and skills in technical theater with her husband’s business being a production company, and throw in special effects, moving sets and scenery and other magic! “Audience members will see a new flying effect we have added this year which is always fun to watch and see.”

The performance brings together a community of dancers from all over the Chicago suburbs, and is a collaboration between student performers, young pre-professional dancers and professional dancers from around the world. It has showcased professional dancers from Joffrey Ballet, Ballet 5:8, Chicago Repertory Ballet and more professional dance companies. This year’s show includes local dancers ages 5 through adult from approximately 25 dance studios in the Chicago suburbs from as far north as Algonquin to as far south as Plainfield which is the only production outside of the Joffrey Ballet that has this many student performers from outside dance schools. “I love how I get to meet new people every year as well as see some returning friends I have made within the past and we get to put all of our talents together for one great performance and become a big family for 3 months” says Madeline Howard one of Fox Valley Ballet’s senior performers and has been in the show since it’s origin.

The Fox Valley Nutcracker on Nov. 26 and 28 at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre

The Fox Valley Nutcracker cancelled it’s performances in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic taking a big hit financially just like many other millions of organizations. “We came back last year in 2021 with a very little budget and doing less performances than we normally would since our cast was much smaller. We had to prove that despite what was going in the world, your family can still enjoy the holiday season together." Andersen says that this year was just as hard trying to get back to it’s regular cast size pre-pandemic, raising money for the it’s typical production needs and making sure to market the show double the amount to fill seats for it’s ticket sales.

One thing Fox Valley Ballet will re-open this year since pre-covid is it’s scholarship fund. Recently, a local nonprofit organization 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley, presented a gift to The Fox Valley Ballet. These funds will benefit individual scholarships and to help support the training and artistic excellence of pre-professional dancers through education, performance and community outreach in an encouraging and inspirational environment. The award was presented to Ms. Andersen and the 2021 Nutcracker Cast and states “I was beyond surprised, amazed and honored. We had applied for support for The Fox Valley Ballet for several years and in the midst of one of the most difficult years of trying to produce our biggest event, this came as a big surprise. We were honored to have been considered candidates this year.”

The Fox Valley Nutcracker does more than entertain; the ballet gives back to the community and provides scholarships for dancers. Since starting the scholarship fund in 2018, Fox Valley Ballet has awarded more than $5,000 in scholarships to talented dancers in need of financial support for their training.

The Fox Valley Nutcracker on Nov. 26 and 28 at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre

In that same spirit, characters from the show visit the pediatric department at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, IL annually, showering the children there with gifts. Nutcracker dancers also perform and cook meals for the families at the Ronald McDonald House.

The Fox Valley Nutcracker relies on the families of the dancers to volunteer as well as monetary donations from the community to keep the production alive. “It really does take the community to bring this spectacular performance to the stage. We are grateful to our partners and welcome the support,” said Andersen. “Because we are a non-profit, we rely on the generosity of donors. We have many opportunities for businesses to sponsor the production.”

Sponsors for The Fox Valley Nutcracker include Soleunique Dance Complex (studio rehearsal sponsor), Comfort Inn & Suites, PERFORM Active Wellness, Dance Dynamics (Studio Partner), The Academy of Dance Arts (Performance Partners), OMNI Construction, Mason, Faith, & Hoscheit, D.D.S., and production partners Ghostlight Ent. and Technical Theater Services.

Performances will be held at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2:00pm & 7:00pm and 27 at 2:00 p.m. Adult tickets are between $25-40 and tickets for children 10 and under are $20-35. For groups of 15 or more, there is a special group rate with a 10 percent savings.

Ticket holders can also add-on the special VIP package and join in on a backstage experience and meet and greet with characters after the show.

To purchase tickets, call (630) 937-8930 or go to Batavia Fine Arts Centre. For more information about The Nutcracker visit The Fox Valley Nutcracker.


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