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Neighbors of Kane County

The Fox Valley Nutcracker: A Professional Production in the Chicago Suburbs

Aug 29, 2019 09:43AM ● By Hannah Ott

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Batavia - Fox Valley Ballet, a 501(c)(3) organization, is proud to present The Fox Valley Nutcracker on November 30 and December 1 at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre. Tickets go on sale September 1 and rehearsals are now underway.

The production, now in its sixth year, is continuously described as “the best Nutcracker in the Fox Valley area.” With sold out shows every year, this beloved holiday classic features lavish sets, festive costumes, dazzling special effects and beautiful dancing set to 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 full-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 and keep them engaged throughout the entire production.”

The performance brings together a community of dancers from all over the Chicago suburbs, and is a collaboration between young pre-professional dancers and professional dancers from around the world. It showcases professional dancers from Joffrey Ballet, along with Chicago’s premiere ballet company, Ballet 5:8, and local dancers ages 5 through adult from 25 different dance studios in the Chicago suburbs from as far north as Algonquin to as far south as Plainfield.

This year there will be more than 110 dancers in the production, including 6 boys, 6 adult males, 4 professional male dancers, and a girl with Cerebral Palsy who is wheelchair-bound.

“This year we will feature more unique production highlights, updates to the set, and some new choreography,” said Andersen. “We also have a diversity of dancers from other places joining us.”

The Fox Valley Nutcracker does more than entertain; they give back to the community and provide scholarships for dancers. In the spring, they gave five scholarships to dancers for summer dance programs. The winners were: Ana Marie Garcia (North Aurora), Sonia Garcia (North Aurora), Aria Novak (St. Charles), Samantha Paguia (Bollingbrook) and Ella June-Wilke (Aurora). Award recipients for their fall scholarships will be announced at one of the Nutcracker productions this year.

In that same spirit, characters from the show visit the pediatric department at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, IL, and hand out gifts to the children there. They also perform and cook meals for the families at the Ronald McDonald House. In addition, they will be participating in the Holiday Lights Parade on November 22 in Aurora.
The Fox Valley Nutcracker depends 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.”
Early sponsors for The Fox Valley Nutcracker include Northwestern Medicine at Central Dupage Hospital and Delnor, Russian Pointe and Dance Dynamics.

Performances will be held at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre on Saturday, November 30, at 2 and 7pm and on Sunday, December 1, at 2pm. Regular tickets for adults run from $25-35 and tickets for children 10 and under are $20-30. 

VIP seating is also available in the first three rows of the orchestra section for only $40 and include a photo op with characters after the show. For groups of 15 or more, there is a special group rate of 10% off of your total ticket price.

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.

About the Fox Valley Ballet: Fox Valley Ballet is a 501(c)(3) organization that’s mission is to bring the joy and artistry of dance to the Fox Valley region through pre-professional ballet training and performances. Fox Valley Ballet supports the training and artistic excellence of pre-professional dancers through education, performance and community outreach in an encouraging and inspirational environment.  Fox Valley Ballet is not affiliated with any specific dance school or studio but serves as an organization in the area to present dance. Address: Fox Valley Ballet, P.O. Box 1841, Montgomery, IL 60538. Contact or visit

Source: Annie Gerlach