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Young Parkway dancers join the Joffrey Ballet in Nutcracker at the Fox

Ten Parkway students will join the world-acclaimed Joffrey Ballet on December 2-5 in Nutcracker at the Fox on the stage of the historic Fox Theatre in St. Louis in the Joffrey’s exquisite nostalgic production of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic.

(From left to right) Back row, standing:  Alyssa Kendrick, Madeleine Huber, Mikayla Wieser, Jackie Droesch, Meaghyn McDonald; Front row, seated:  Elizabeth Rozhanskiy, Alyssa Carpenter; unavailable for the photo were Daniel Rozhanskiy, Danielle Serota, and Noya Shenhav.

The students are Alyssa Carpenter, Jackie Droesch from Northeast Middle, Madeleine Huber, from West Middle, Danielle Eve Serota and Mikayla Wieser from Central Middle, Daniel Rozhanskiy from Northeast Middle and his sister Elizabeth Rozhanskiy from Craig Elementary, Alyssa Kendrick from River Bend Elementary, Meaghyn McDonald from Ross Elementary, and Noya Shenhav from Highcroft Elementary. They will play the roles of Christmas tree angels, dolls, toy soldiers, mouse warriors, little clowns who hide under the skirts of a giant puppet designed by Kermit Love of Sesame Street fame, and guests at the Victorian Christmas party where the ballet’s heroine receives the toy Nutcracker that magically comes to life and leads her on an enchanted adventure.

Dance St. Louis presents Nutcracker at the Fox as part of the Wells Fargo Advisors Fox Series. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, December 2 and 3; at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 4; and at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 5. The story of the ballet will be read to children in the Fox’s Marquee Room 45 minutes before every performance.

Tickets range from $25 to $75 and are available through MetroTix at 314-534-1111, online at dancestlouis.org, and all MetroTix outlets including the Fox Theatre box office at 547 N. Grand in St. Louis.

Nutcracker at the Fox is a celebration of children’s dreams, nestled in a Victorian Americana setting. The story begins at a family Christmas party and moves to a moonlit winter forest and the magical realm of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Tchaikovsky’s evergreen music is performed live by the Cambiata Singers of the Kirkwood Children’s Chorale and the Ballet Orchestra of St. Louis. “You will be transported to a world of sweets and sugarplums within the majesty of the Fox Theatre,” says Michael Uthoff, artistic & executive director of Dance St. Louis.

The local dancers—59 in each of the six performances—won their roles at open auditions held in St. Louis on September 19 and have been rehearsing every weekend since then. They range in age from 9 to 15 and are from both Missouri and Illinois. They attend 88 different elementary, middle and high schools and 34 different dance schools.  

Founded in 1956 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino and now directed by Ashley Wheater, the Joffrey Ballet is one of the premier dance troupes of the world. Its Nutcracker has been a holiday tradition in Chicago ever since the company moved there from New York in 1995.