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My name is Gary Zidek. Welcome to The Arts Section. Tune into the radio program every Sunday morning on WDCB 90.9 & 90.7 FM or listen to it online here. I'll be showcasing a variety of arts & entertainment, as well as.highlighting some creative ideas.

Chicago Ballet Company Aims to Engage Audiences In New Ways With THE ART DECO NUTCRACKER

Chicago Ballet Company Aims to Engage Audiences In New Ways With THE ART DECO NUTCRACKER

WDCB’s Gary Zidek catches up with A & A Ballet Company co-founder Alexei Kremnev to talk about his version of the holiday classic.

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“Since everyone is on social media, you can understand (the importance of) the number clicks and likes, etc. On stage, dance is the oldest form of the arts. So, you have to make it engaging and entertaining, and still you have to keep the values of the classical ballet.” - Alexei Kremnev talking about making The Nutcracker more accessible.

 Alexei Kremnev co-founder of A & A Ballet Company

Alexei Kremnev co-founder of A & A Ballet Company

Based on an 1816 German novella titled The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, the first Nutcracker ballet premiered 126 years ago in Russia. Today, The Nutcracker ballet is a holiday staple in cities across North America.  According to Crains New York, a production of The Nutcracker can provide 40% to 45% of a ballet company's annual revenue. There are around 15 Nutcracker productions being presented around the Chicago-area this holiday season. One of the city’s newest ballet companies is trying to win over audiences with a more accessible version of the holiday classic. A & A Ballet’s THE ART DECO NUTCRACKER is running at the Studabaker Theatre Friday November 30 - Sunday December 2.

 A scene from A & A Ballet’s production of The Art Deco Nutcracker

A scene from A & A Ballet’s production of The Art Deco Nutcracker

 A scene from A & A Ballet’s production of The Art Deco Nutcracker

A scene from A & A Ballet’s production of The Art Deco Nutcracker

A & A Ballet Company’s version of The Nutcracker takes place in 1920’s Chicago.

 One of the set pieces used in The Art Deco Nutcracker

One of the set pieces used in The Art Deco Nutcracker

Kremenv says for many young people, a production of The Nutcracker is their first in-person experience with ballet. His goal was to create a production young people can engage with.

 A scene from A & A Ballet’s production of The Art Deco Nutcracker

A scene from A & A Ballet’s production of The Art Deco Nutcracker

 A scene from A & A Ballet’s production of The Art Deco Nutcracker

A scene from A & A Ballet’s production of The Art Deco Nutcracker

A & A Ballet Company’s THE ART DECO NUTCRACKER is running at the Studabaker Theatre from Friday November 30 through Sunday December 2.

Go to aacenterfordance.org for more information.

 A scene from A & A Ballet’s production of The Art Deco Nutcracker

A scene from A & A Ballet’s production of The Art Deco Nutcracker

Chicago-area Native's Debut Feature Set to Play at Music Box Theatre

Chicago-area Native's Debut Feature Set to Play at Music Box Theatre

Dueling Over Northlight Theatre's MANSFIELD PARK

Dueling Over Northlight Theatre's MANSFIELD PARK