Downers Grove

Salt Creek Ballet of Hinsdale to spin ‘Nutcracker’ into view

Ballet stars to join local dancers in enchanting holiday tradition

Salt Creek Ballet will be back live on stage to celebrate its 35th year of “The Nutcracker” at Hinsdale Central Auditorium this weekend, the first of a series of performances at three venues this holiday season.

The Hinsdale shows will begin at 1 and 5 p.m. Nov. 27, and at 1 p.m. Nov. 28. The visually stunning and festive, family-friendly production is the perfect start to the holidays, a news release stated. This year’s “Nutcracker” features a cast of 80 dancers, including Salt Creek Ballet students ages 6 to 18, and 10 internationally acclaimed guest dancers, including several courtesy of The Joffrey Ballet.

Watch the young Clara and her hero, the Nutcracker, battle the Mouse King and embark on a magical journey, encountering toys that come alive, dancing snowflakes, waltzing flowers, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Sunday’s benefit performance also offers special admission to the “Sugar Plum Party” where audience members can meet characters from “The Nutcracker,” step onto the stage, and enjoy refreshments in a winter wonderland.

The role of Clara and guest artists

Dancing the role of Princess Clara will be Hinsdale Central High School student Olivia Costello. She has trained at Salt Creek Ballet since the age of 3, dancing solo roles in “Paquita” and the Arabian Princess in “The Nutcracker.” Dancing the role of Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier are Nicole Ciapponi and Aaron Renteria, courtesy of The Joffrey.

Among other local talents are Samantha Leddy and Kylie Norman, both of Hinsdale; and Sarah Govostis of Burr Ridge. The huge cast features youth from communities including Downers Grove, Western Springs, La Grange, Riverside, Woodridge, Westmont, Naperville and Wheaton.

In celebration of the 35th anniversary of “The Nutcracker,” Salt Creek Ballet is offering the community the chance to “be an Angel” with their new Angel Ticket program. With a small donation, one can purchase a Nutcracker ticket for an underprivileged child and their parent, giving them the gift of live theater for the holidays.  Donate at saltcreekballet.org/ways-to-give.

Salt Creek Ballet is a nonprofit Illinois corporation supported in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Grover Hermann Foundation.

Tickets for the Nov. 27 performances cost $ 48 for adults, and $43 for children age 12 and younger, and seniors age 65 and older. Sunday’s performance includes special admission to the “Sugar Plum Party,” where audience members can meet characters from “The Nutcracker,” step onto the stage, and enjoy refreshments in an enchanted, winter wonderland.

Hinsdale Central Auditorium is at 5500 S. Grant St. at the corner of 55th and Grant streets in Hinsdale, and free parking is available. Tickets can be purchased at www.etix.com. For more information, visit Salt Creek Ballet at www.saltcreekballet.org.

Additional venues

North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie will host “The Nutcracker” production by Salt Creek at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 11, and at 2 p.m. Dec. 12; information can be found at www.northshorecenter.org.

The McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn will host the production at 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18, and at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 19; information can be found at www.attmac.org.