Youngsters step out in ‘Nutcracker at the Fox’

A total of 118 young area dancers will have the opportunity of a lifetime when they perform “The Nutcracker” with the world-renowned Joffrey Ballet in “Nutcracker at the Fox” from Wednesday, Dec. 5, through Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Fox Theatre.

The Joffrey Ballet is bringing its breathtaking version of “The Nutcracker” to St. Louis for the first time, uniting the forces of the Joffrey’s 39 dancers and six apprentices, the young St. Louis dancers, the Cambiata Singers of the Kirkwood Children’s Chorale and the Ballet Orchestra of St. Louis in a production that evokes the beauty and joy of an American Christmas in the 1850s.

The young dancers were selected in open auditions conducted Sept. 15 in St. Louis by Charthel Arthur, one of the Joffrey Ballet’s two ballet masters. The performances have been double cast so that 59 of the children appear in three performances and the other 59 appear in three performances.

The local dancers range from age 9 to 16 and live in both Missouri and Illinois. They are pupils at public, private and parochial schools as well as home-schooled pupils, and they take dance classes from 40 different schools and studios.

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets range from $20 to $75 for the general public and $18 to $68 for students and seniors. They are available at the Fox Theatre Box Office, by telephone at (314) 534-1111 and at metrotix.com.