For Trueblood, seeing the young dancers evolve during their time in "The Nutcracker" has been his favorite part of four decades of the ballet.
Performers with major roles have taken on the challenge of juggling acting and balletic responsibilities.
Erin Gonzales of Thousand Oaks will perform the role Sat., Dec. 16.
Following a wildly successful world premiere in December 2016, The Joffrey Ballet will present its newly reimagined holiday classic The Nutcracker by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon in 33 performances only, at the historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago at 50 East Congress Parkway, December 1-30, 2017. "And it's fun to see families coming together for a Christmas celebration", said ballet dancer Dillan Ritmiller, who plays the sugar plum fairy.
The company's commitment to accessibility is met through an extensive touring schedule, an innovative and highly effective education program including the much-lauded Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Community Engagement programs and collaborations with myriad other visual and performing arts organizations.
Erin and Grace are both part of CDT's invitation-only preprofessional training program. The training program offers career and college-minded advanced dancers additional training taught by master teachers from worldwide and regional ballet companies. They train 18 to 20 hours per week, not including rehearsals.
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Classes consist primarily of classical ballet but also include jazz, contemporary, lyrical, modern and stretch and strength.
This is her third time participating in "The Nutcracker".
Erin has been dancing since she was 8. She also loves photography. Her previous "Nutcracker" roles have been Star, Lady Licorice, Peppermint Princess, Gumdrop and Snow.
This past summer, she attended the Miami City Ballet's summer program.
Grace has been dancing since the age of 3. "They're surprised by how professional the production is", she said. Grace would also like to attend college to study fashion design. Grace joined Pacific Festival Ballet in 2015 and has performed in "Peter Pan" and "Noah's Ark".
Tais said she always dreamed of moving to Los Angeles and pursuing a career with the American Ballet Theatre.