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2. Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble’s “Nutcracker” Turns 20

2. Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble’s “Nutcracker” Turns 20

Home Newsroom 2. Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble’s “Nutcracker” Turns 20

The Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble (BYDE) performed its 20th annual production of The Nutcracker at the Richard C. Johnson Auditorium in the Barrington High School on December 19th-21st. Staged by Gregory Merriman and directed by BYDE’s Founder and Artistic Director Mary Brennan, more than 2,200 ballet enthusiasts delighted in one of the Barrington area’s most loved holiday traditions. This year’s performance boasted glittering sets and costumes, world-class dancing, and all the flair of a holiday spectacular.

Nutcracker3: BYDE Company Members Caleigh Meehan (Fox River Grove), Gabrielle Zimmer (Mundelein), Caroline Rees (Barrington Hills), and Eliza Seagrist (Lake Barrington) are joined by Guest Artist Chelsea McCormick in the Chinese Tea dance in the Land of Sweets. - Photo by Kelly Stachura
BYDE Company Members Caleigh Meehan (Fox River Grove), Gabrielle Zimmer (Mundelein), Caroline Rees (Barrington Hills), and Eliza Seagrist (Lake Barrington) are joined by Guest Artist Chelsea McCormick in the Chinese Tea dance in the Land of Sweets. – Photo by Kelly Stachura

Set to the score of Tchaikovsky, the audience was lost in the story of Clara’s magical gift, an exciting battle between soldiers and mice, and the dreamy Land of Sweets. Acclaimed guest artists from National and Chicago regional dance companies including, River North Dance Chicago, Giordano Dance Chicago, and Visceral Dance Chicago performed lead soloist roles. Jennifer Goodman, known for her 16 year tenure with the Joffrey Ballet, guest starred for the first time with BYDE as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Professional Guest Artists Jennifer Goodman and Aaron Rogers dance the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier Grand Pas De Deux in the Land of Sweets - Photo by Kelly Stachura
Professional Guest Artists Jennifer Goodman and Aaron Rogers dance the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier Grand Pas De Deux in the Land of Sweets – Photo by Kelly Stachura

The professional guest artists were joined by 80 student dancers from BYDE, the Barrington Dance Academy and other local dance studios in the Northwest Chicago suburbs. Hannah Harris of Lake Barrington played the Dew Drop Fairy, along with Megan Clement of Barrington, and Victoria Van Hollen and Juliana Nikolich shared the role of the Angel Fairy in the magical Land of the Sweets. Mackenzie Jaekel of Lake Zurich performed as the Snow Queen along with professional guest artist Simon Sliva.

“We are so very proud of our 20th annual production of the Nutcracker and its place as an annual holiday tradition. We are extremely thankful to all of our dancers, volunteers, donors, staff and loyal audience members.” says Mary Brennan, Founder and Artistic Director of BYDE.

“Through our high caliber performances, Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble is dedicated to preserving the classics as well as creating new contemporary dance. We are inspired to provide enjoyment and cultural enrichment for our wonderful audiences and opportunity for our dancers.”

BYDE student performers are coached by international dance artists, and are exposed to professional set, lighting, costume, and production crews during The Nutcracker and all performances.

Barrington Dance Academy and Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble company members dance the enchanting Snow Scene - Photo by Kelly Stachura
Barrington Dance Academy and Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble company members dance the enchanting Snow Scene – Photo by Kelly Stachura

The Nutcracker was made possible by the following generous sponsors: The Benson Foundation, The Roberts Family Foundation, The Sanfilippo Foundation, Barrington Area Community Foundation, Rose Packing Company, Barrington Junior Women’s Club, The Duchossois Family Foundation, The Target Corporation, The DEMAR Foundation, Inc., Grainger, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, The Stephenson Family Foundation, CNA Foundation, Anderson Mikos Architects, Ltd., and Wickstrom Ford . BYDE’s 2014 production of The Nutcracker is partially supported by a grant from The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Save the Date for BYDE’s production of Sleeping Beauty on June 12-13, 2015 in The Barrington High School Auditorium.


The Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble (BYDE) is a 501©3 non-profit charitable arts organization that promotes artistic integrity, involvement, and awareness through exceptional dance training and performance in the Chicagoland area. For more information, call 847.382.6333, CLICK HERE to find their Facebook page or visit BYDE.org.

Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble Presents The Nutcracker
Barrington Youth Dance Ensemble Presents The Nutcracker – Photo Courtesy of Kelly Stachura

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