Hyde Park School of Dance to Close 20th Season with THE NUTCRACKER, 12/14-15
Hyde Park School of Dance (HPSD) concludes its 20th anniversary season with Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, featuring a record 170 dancers-from four-year-olds to grandparents-supported by more than 100 volunteers. Performances are December 14 and 15 at Mandel Hall on the University of Chicago campus, 1131 E. 57th Street.
Staged by HPSD Founding Artistic Director August Tye, ballet mistress and choreographer at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the 90-minute production follows Clara, Fritz and the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer from the family holiday party and the midnight battle with the Mouse King and his troops through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets.
Each year, HPSD casts a Chicago VIP as the honorary Mother Ginger. This year, 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston and Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wallace Goode take on the role. Past Mother Gingers have included State Representative Kimberly DuBuclet, Ray Elementary School Principal Bernadette Butler and Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell.
Prior to the matinees December 14 and 15, the Pre-Ballet Holiday Show showcases 70 of HPSD's youngest ballet students in performance. A Sugar Plum Tea featuring costumed characters and catered treats takes place after the December 15 matinee. On Friday, December 13, HPSD performs an abridged version for more than 800 school children, many of whom will be seeing their first ballet. The performance is part of HPSD's STEPS (Serve, Train, Educate, Promote, Succeed) community engagement program.
Hyde Park School of Dance Founded in 1993 as The Hyde Park School of Ballet, Hyde Park School of Dance provides opportunities for students of all ages and abilities to study, perform and create classical and contemporary dance at the highest levels of discipline and artistry. Through high quality training and performance, HPSD's goal is to cultivate a love of dance and strength of body, mind and character that will benefit students throughout their lives. Led by Founding Artistic Director August Tye, the faculty is committed to helping children experience the empowering rewards of self-discipline, hard work and collaboration in a supportive and nurturing environment that values healthy bodies.
The Nutcracker takes place Saturday, December 14 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 15 at 2 p.m. at Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th Street in Chicago. Tickets are $20; $10 for children ages five to 18, seniors and students with ID; and free for children younger than five. Tickets for the Sugar Plum Tea, following the Sunday, December 15 matinee, are $40 for adults; $20 for children ages five to 18, seniors and students with ID; and free for children younger than five. Tickets and information are available at 773-493-8498 or hydeparkdance.org/events/nutcracker.html.