November 5, 2007 —The Joffrey Ballet’s 2007-2008 Season continues with the 20th Anniversary of Chicagoland’s most popular family holiday entertainment, Robert Joffrey's production of The Nutcracker, at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, December 12-30, 2007. This magical production features the full Joffrey Ballet company, plus the Arpino Apprentices, and a puppeteer - augmented by five local children's choruses and more than 120 young dancers ages nine to fourteen.

The Chicago Sinfonietta (the official orchestra of The Joffrey Ballet), under the baton of The Joffrey’s Music Director and Principal Conductor Dr. Leslie B. Dunner, will provide live musical accompaniment of the beloved Tchaikovsky score. The production features scenic design by Oliver Smith, lighting by Thomas Skelton, and a giant puppet designed by Kermit Love.

The 20th Anniversary presentation of The Nutcracker is sponsored by Macy’s. As Program Sponsor, the annual holiday window display at Macy’s on State Street will tell the story of The Joffrey Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker in nine animated holiday windows. Macy’s Chicago-based team of visual artists will pay tribute to Robert Joffrey’s vision and the historic traditions of The Nutcracker, telling the story through hand-sculpted figurines, spectacular costumes and exquisite scenery. The windows will be unveiled Saturday, November 10 and be featured on State Street until Sunday, January 6, 2008.

Robert Joffrey’s uniquely American production of The Nutcracker, based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s early 19th century German tale, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King," premiered in 1987, and has become a Chicago holiday favorite since its first performance here in 1996. This distinctly original production of the holiday chestnut combines classical elegance with thrilling explosive action, set amidst lavish period costumes and spectacular scenery depicting Victorian America in the 1850s. Snowflakes and flowers dance into our hearts, as toys come joyfully to life amidst familiar characters such as Clara; her mischievous brother, Fritz; the King and Queen of the glorious Land of Snow; the Sugar Plum Fairy; the warring Mice led by the Mouse King; the Nutcracker Prince; and the mysterious Dr. Drosselmeyer and his handsome nephew. Gerald Arpino, co-Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of The Joffrey Ballet, choreographed the Land of the Snow scene, which closes Act I, and the Waltz of the Flowers in Act II.

The Joffrey continues its tradition of being joined on stage by over 120 young dancers from all over the Chicago area, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In addition, young vocalists from the Providence-St. Mel School Choir, the Oak Park and River Forest Children’s Chorus, the Chicago Children’s Choir, Barrington Children’s Choir, and the Youth Choral Theater of Chicago (formerly known as The Jubilate Children’s Choir), will perform the choral parts from Tchaikovsky's magical "snow scene." The choirs will also delight audiences with popular seasonal selections in the Auditorium Theatre's main lobby one-half hour prior to curtain and during intermissions at every performance.

Prior to the Chicago engagement, The Joffrey Ballet will present The Nutcracker at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri, December 5 – 9, 2007.

Performance Schedule and Pricing for The Nutcracker
The performance schedule for The Joffrey Ballet’s presentation of The Nutcracker, December 12-30, is as follows: Wednesday, December 12 at 7 p.m.; Friday, December 14 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 15 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; Sunday, December 16 at 2 p.m.; Thursday, December 20 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; Friday, December 21 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 22 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; Sunday, December 23 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; Wednesday, December 26 at 2 p.m.; Thursday, December 27 at 2 p.m.; Friday, December 28 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 29 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; and Sunday, December 30 at 2 p.m.

Tickets, priced from $25-$125, are currently on-sale at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University box office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at (312) 902-1500, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Please note, the Auditorium Theatre does not allow children under five years of age. Groups of 10 or more should call (312) 386-8899. There will be special $20 college and graduate student rush tickets available an hour before curtain for any remaining tickets. Students will need to show a current ID.

The 2007-2008 Season will continue with the Antony Tudor Centennial, a repertory program celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the renowned choreographer Antony Tudor’s birth, featuring his Lilac Garden, Dark Elegies and Offenbach in the Underworld, February 20 – March 2, 2008; and will conclude with American Moderns, featuring a quartet of explosive, modern works, including Paul Taylor’s Cloven Kingdom, Laura Dean’s Night, Mehmet Sanders’ Inner Space, and the Company Premiere of Waterbaby Bagatelles by Twyla Tharp, May 14 – 25, 2008.

The Joffrey Ballet extends special thanks to its 2007-2008 Season Sponsors, the Abbott Fund and Huron Consulting Group; Giselle Program Sponsor, JPMorgan Chase; the Production Sponsor for Giselle, NIB Foundation; The Nutcracker Program Sponsor, Macy’s North; Antony Tudor Centennial Program Sponsor, NIB Foundation; Lilac Garden Production Sponsor, Nuveen Investments; Night Production Sponsor, NIB Foundation; Inner Space Production Sponsor, United Airlines; and Waterbaby Bagatelles Production Sponsor, The Sara Lee Foundation. Live music for the 2007-2008 Season, provided by The Chicago Sinfonietta, is underwritten in part by The Joyce Foundation, the Julius Frankel Foundation, the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation, and the Farny R. Wurlitzer. The 2007-2008 Season is also supported by grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the CityArts Program of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. The Joffrey Ballet is also supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Special thanks to United Airlines, the Official & Exclusive Airline of The Joffrey Ballet.

For more information about The Joffrey Ballet please call 312-739-0120 or visit www.joffrey.com.