Classic ballet comes to life at Egyptian Theatre

By Chris Plumery

DeKALB — The Egyptian Theatre was full of people of all ages who came to watch Beth Fowler’s Dance Company perform “The Nutcracker.” 

The performance of the Tchaikovsky ballet was shown 7 p.m. Friday at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St.

The show began with a young girl named Clara, played by Abigail Lewis, and her family dancing as they opened gifts around a large Christmas tree. 

The performers danced around each other in unison, as the music and their movements were in sync. 

The cast did a great job with its choreography and transitions from one scene to the next, and lighting helped to achieve smooth transitions.

One spectacular scene that had the crowd fired up was when a magician and toymaker named Drosselmeyer, played by Philip Masterton, brought mechanical dolls to perform for the guests at the family party. 

There were three dolls: a jester doll, a ballerina doll and a Russian doll, played by Jacob Blijus, Olivia Brown and Emily Fox, respectively. Drosselmeyer took the dolls out of a huge box and picked them up. 

The cast playing the dolls did an outstanding job portraying themselves as  inanimate objects. They were wound-up by Drosselmeyer and began dancing in a robotic manner. 

Another dynamic scene was the fight between The Nutcracker, played by Micah Moch, and the Rat King, played by Brady McCue. 

The kids in the performance had on rat outfits and circled around Clara. This led into beautiful choreography and sword fighting between the Rat King and the Nutcracker, which ended with both striking each other down. 

Soon after, the audience saw the Nutcracker doll become real, and it was surprising to see him appear behind Clara.

The most interactive part of the show came at the end of the first act, during Waltz of the Snowflakes. 

Fake snow rained down on the first several rows of the audience as the curtains closed into intermission. This effect brought the performance to life, as the crowd became involved with the show.

In the second act, a cultural extravaganza occurred as the show went from a Spanish theme to Chinese,  Arabiac and lastly, Russian. 

The dance styles didn’t seem much different from one another, but the costumes reflected the cultural themes well. 

To end the night, Clara watched The Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Fairy, played by Becky Baert, dance together. They danced gracefully and had fine technique. 

The performers stayed on pointe for quite some time as they spun in a circle. They were almost acrobatic at times when Moch would put Baert on his shoulders and balance himself and her with great skill. 

“The Nutcracker” was a fantastic performance of the iconic ballet, perfect for the holiday season.