Opening this Friday, November 30, and running through December 2, 2018, Chicago’s own ballet company, A & A Ballet under the artistic direction of Anna Reznik and Alexei Kremnev will present “The Art Deco Nutcracker (© 2017 Alexei Kremnev) with Kremnev’s original choreography. This production will feature soloists from some of the country’s preeminent ballet companies including American Ballet Theatre soloist Katherine Williams as the Sugar Plum Fairy and American Ballet Theatre company member Jose Sebastian as a Cavalier. This Nutcracker is a great opportunity to introduce everyone to the “Nut”. The Studebaker is an intimate theater with only 734 seats, but this promises to be a large production nonetheless with 175 people on the stage at one time.
For those of us who know the Nutcracker well, the Art Deco spin that Kremnev puts on the production promises to bring a fresh and fun feel to the ballet. The elegant costuming and large cast of this production, not to mention the A-List performers, make this show a great addition to holiday entertainment in Chicago. With ticket prices running from $30-$50 this is a great chance to bring the family. The show is at the Studebaker theater in the beautiful Fine Arts Building at 410 South Michigan Avenue. Built in 1898 the building originally featured vaudeville and grew into large productions. Luminaries like Bob Hope, Peter O’Toole, and Vincent Price have “tread the boards” at the Studebaker, and you can feel the history just sitting in the audience.
Set in 1920s America, Kremnev’s “The Art Deco Nutcracker” features Tchaikovsky’s score in an exciting and fast-moving but nevertheless classic ballet. The Chicago Tribune has described it as “A glossy rendition filled with gorgeous, glitzy costumes” and The Cincinnati Enquirer writes that Kremnev has “brought dance to a whole new level.” Kremnev has created eight full-length ballets and this production premiered in Chicago last year to a sold-out audience, a rarity in this business. Kremnev himself has had his work presented around the world including at the Bolshoi Theater and Lincoln Center. The Huffington Post has described “The Art Deco Nutcracker “ as “electric” and “echoing with audiences of all ages.” The Huffington Post describes his choreography as “encompassing the best and brilliance of what movement can be while breaking boundaries of what we know.”
Alexei Kremnev founded A&A BALLET with Anna Reznik in 2016. He also has his own distinguished career in ballet as a dancer and served as Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet Academy and the Joffrey Studio Company where he created sixteen new works. In 2013, Kremnev received the Achievement Award in Culture from the Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI), and the Business Leaders Award from the American Councils for International Education and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the United States Department of State in 2017.
Anna Reznik has been featured in the PBS Holiday Specials “Love is Here to Stay” and “A Family Thanksgiving.” In 2007, 2017 and 2018 Reznik received the Outstanding Teacher Award at the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix. Reznik also received the Achievement Award in Culture from the Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) and is a former founding Artistic Director of the Joffrey Academy and the Joffrey Studio Company.
Tickets for Kremnev’s “The Art Deco Nutcracker” are available now at www.aacenterfordance.org/box-office.