The Joffrey Ballet celebrated its opening night for the 25th Anniversary of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker on Friday, December 7, at the Auditorium Theater of Roosevelt University, located at 50 E. Congress Parkway. Thousands of people attended the performance, which will be showcased until December 27th.“Robert Joffrey’s Nutcracker, and in particular the first act party scene, is unique in its detention to detail. The Nutcracker is a celebration of American Christmas traditions, as meaningful today as they were during their first performance in 1987. Whether you are seeing The Nutcracker as a child for the first time, or grew up with the story, there is always something familiar and something brand new,” said Ashley Wheater, Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director.When Joffrey choreographed The Nutcracker, he replaced the traditional European setting with a 19th century American home, populating it with toys from his own childhood underneath the Christmas tree of the Stahlbaum Family. The traditional setting remained the same, with the addition of a giant Mother Ginger puppet and an extravagant set by Oliver Smith.Following a lively party on Christmas Eve, the characters Clara and Dr. Drosselmeyer embark on a magical adventure, with a battle between toy soldiers and legions of mice, before being whisked away with The Nutcracker prince to an enchanted forest. As the scenes of the performance change, the viewer transcends from a warm home to a magical snow land, accompanied with Russian and exotic doll dancers, the Elegant Queen and King of Snow, and other magical characters.“Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Robert Joffrey’s Nutcracker, which has become the number one Nutcracker in America, is a huge milestone for the company,” said Christopher Clinton Conway, Joffrey Ballet Executive Director. “Every year for the past quarter century, thousands of families have made a place for the Joffrey’s Nutcracker in their holiday traditions, creating treasured memories that last a lifetime.”
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