The Joffery Ballet’s Nutcracker – A Gift To Us All

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 -- Joffrey Ballet The Nutcracker Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2021
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By David Hamilton

As a child I needed three things to symbolize Christmas. The Little Drummer boy  recording by the Harry Simeone Chorale, A Charlie Brown Christmas and The  Nutcracker. My parents made sure I had a steady diet of PBS which meant that I  grew up on The Nutcracker starring famed Russian ballet dancer Mikhail  Baryshnikov. Best known for its score by Pytor IIyich Tchaikovsky, the story itself is  adapted from E.T.A Hoffman’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”. Over the  years it has become a staple of Ballet Companies around the world as a  celebration of the Holiday season. In its first season at the Lyric Opera House, The  Joffrey Ballet brings its version from Tony Award winning choreographer  Christopher Wheeldon. 

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 — Joffrey Ballet The Nutcracker Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2021

Set in the year 1893, with Chicago’s famous World’s Fair as its backdrop,  Wheeldon’s re-imagined Nutcracker follows Marie and her poor immigrant family  as they prepare for a Christmas party. For exact context and clarity, you can visit  the website and view the program for a synopsis. But essentially, it’s remains true  to the original. The combination of Wheeldon’s choreography and Tchaikovsky’s  music highlight each other, especially in the second act. A huge screen is utilized  to project scene changes and animations that help to tell the story. As we travel  to different lands, using the animations, The World’s Fair acts as an excellent  conduit as we celebrate the different cultures through their dance. The muti ethnic cast is incredibly talented. Ballet dancers train as hard as those who pursue  athletic endeavors. They’re athletes in the true sense of the world. It takes a huge  amount of physical strength, stamina and mental toughness to become one. 

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 — Joffrey Ballet The Nutcracker Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2021

There is so much that is delightful about this production from the costumes to the  music to the dancing…there is even puppetry! The Nutcracker is perfect holiday  fun for the whole family! You’ll leave smiling with visions of sugar plums in your  head. The audience truly enjoyed themselves. The orchestra is fantastic. Everyone  should get out to see this wonderful Production. 

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 — Joffrey Ballet The Nutcracker Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2021

The Nutcracker runs from December 4-26 at the Lyric Opera. Tickets can be  purchased at Joffrey.org. 

Celebrating 65 years of artistic excellence in 2021.

Classically trained to the highest standards, The Joffrey Ballet expresses an inclusive perspective on dance that reflects the diversity of America through its Company Artists, extensive repertoire, Academy, and Community Engagement programs. 

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 — Joffrey Ballet The Nutcracker Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2021

Considered one of the premier companies performing today, the Joffrey plays a vital role in the dance community as the largest dance company and dance education provider in Chicago and the greater Midwest region.

Watch a Joffrey documentary

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 — Joffrey Ballet The Nutcracker Choreographer: Christopher Wheeldon Music: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2021

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