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BYDE's 'The Nutcracker' to Feature Acclaimed Guest Dancers

The Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble's Production of "The Nutcracker" will feature internationally-acclaimed guest artists.

Richard Falls Jr., of NoMi Dance Company, and Drew Fountain, of River North Dance Chicago, fight as Mouse King and Nutcracker Prince in rehearsal for BYDE's Nutcracker. Credit: BYDE
Richard Falls Jr., of NoMi Dance Company, and Drew Fountain, of River North Dance Chicago, fight as Mouse King and Nutcracker Prince in rehearsal for BYDE's Nutcracker. Credit: BYDE

Submitted by the Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble

Celebrate the season with visions of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the dashing Nutcracker prince and heroine Clara, as the BYDE takes you back in time to magical lands of old world charm with their 19th annual production of "The Nutcracker."

Choreographed by Gregory Merriman and directed by BYDE Artistic Director Mary Brennan, this Christmas classic will run at the Richard C. Johnson Auditorium at Barrington High School December 6-8.

Reveling in Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, the theatrical event will feature internationally acclaimed guest artists from National and Chicago regional dance companies including: Jessica Wolfrum, Drew Fountain and John Litzler of River North Dance Chicago; Jason Hortin, of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; Melanie Hortin, formerly of River North Dance Chicago: and Simon Sliva, a freelance performer of international acclaim.

The guest artists and BYDE company dancers will be joined by more than 75 additional student dancers from the Northwest Chicago suburbs.

Fountain, portraying the Nutcracker Prince, will work alongside BYDE company dancers Stephanie Eggers and Caleigh Meehan who play the story’s heroine, Clara. Mackenzie Jaekel, who is dancing in her fifth season as a BYDE company member, will have the opportunity to dance with Sliva in the breathtaking Snow Scene "pas de deux."

"This year I will be dancing with Simon Sliva, a professional guest artist, in my role as Snow Queen," said Jaekel. "I am tremendously looking forward to working with him because I believe it will be a great learning opportunity. His expertise will not only be proof that perseverance and determination can pay off but will also help me to improve my dancing and performance skills."

"The use of professional artists with student dancers, is a long-standing BYDE Nutcracker tradition," said Mary Brennan, Founder and Artistic Director of BYDE. "Working with experienced artists of regional and international acclaim supports our mission of providing BYDE’s student dancers with opportunities for artistic growth."

Mr. Sliva, a native of Argentina, has danced with Complexions Contemporary Ballet (New York), Minnesotal Ballet, Ballet Gamonet (Miami), and has danced many lead roles nationwide. Many of BYDE’s guest artists enjoy coming back year after year to work alongside BYDE’s student dancers.

Ticket prices range from $15 to $28. For more information, call (847) 382-6333 or visit www.BYDE.org.

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