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New Holiday Bazaar Adds to Festivities
Hyde Park School of Dance (HPSD) once again offers ballet fans its annual presentation of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, featuring 175 dancers—from four-year-olds to grandparents—supported by more than 100 volunteers. Performances are December 11–13 at Mandel Hall on the University of Chicago campus, 1131 E. 57th Street, Chicago.

Staged by HPSD Founding Artistic Director August Tye, ballet mistress and choreographer at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the 90-minute narrated production follows Clara, Fritz and the mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer from the family holiday party and the midnight battle with the Mouse Queen and her troops through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets.

Each year, HPSD casts one or more Chicago VIPs as the honorary Mother Ginger. This year, Hyde Park Herald editor Daschell Phillips will play the role December 12 at 1 p.m., and Hyde Park Bank President Mike McGarry is taking on the role for the December 12 6 p.m. performance. Past Mother Gingers have included 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston, Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wallace Goode, State Representative Kimberly DuBuclet, Ray Elementary School Principal Bernadette Butler and Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell.

Prior to each performance, the Pre-Ballet Holiday Show showcases 70 of HPSD’s youngest ballet students in performance.

New this year, a Hyde Park School of Dance Holiday Bazaar offers an opportunity to meet characters from The Nutcracker, make holiday crafts, finish holiday shopping from the wares of local vendors and indulge in a hot chocolate bar and other treats. The Holiday Bazaar takes place Saturday, December 12 from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday, December 13 from 1 to 5 p.m.

On Friday, December 11, HPSD performs an abridged version for more than 800 school children, many who will be seeing their first ballet. The performance is part of HPSD’s community engagement program, STEPS (Serve, Train, Educate, Promote, Succeed).

The Nutcracker takes place Friday, December 11 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 12 at 1 and 6 p.m.; and Sunday, December 13 at 2 p.m. at Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th Street in Chicago. Tickets, which go on sale November 2, are $30 for reserved seating (all ages); general admission tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for seniors; $10 for children ages five to 18 and students with ID; and free for children younger than five. Tickets and information are available at 773-493-8498 or hydeparkdance.org.

Photo by Marc Monaghan.

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