THE NUTCRACKER from Hyde Park School of Dance combines hip-hop, ballet and modern dance
Hyde Park School of Dance (HPSD) brings together fans of ballet, modernity and hip hop with its annual presentation of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. Performances will be held December 9-11 at Mandel Hall on the University of Chicago campus, 1131 E. 57th Street, Chicago.
The show is directed by HPSD founding artistic director August Tye, longtime ballet mistress of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, along with 10 choreographers. The 75-minute narrated production adds a new “Land of Treats and Gifts for Clara” scene this year featuring African dance performed by West African instructor Mark Vaughn. Another special feature of this production is a “Hip Hop Dance” battle to showcase the range of dance genres offered by the school while sending a message of peace – instead of fighting with swords, mice and soldiers, draw in the power of hip hop to work on their differences through creative self-expression. The cast includes weekly students and members of the school’s pre-professional Studio Company.
“The Nutcracker 2022 marks our return to a full cast of dancers ages 7 and up,” said August Tye, founding artistic director of HPSD. “We haven’t had our youngest dancers involved since 2019, so the energy and excitement is palpable. We’re also thrilled to add our new African dance scene as a highlight of the many countries we celebrate in Casse. – Nutcracker. Our Chinese dance will feature all-new traditional Chinese dance choreographed by guest artist Angela Tam, Artistic Director of Yin He Dance. We are pleased to uphold our reputation for showcasing the Nutcracker tradition while updating innovatively updates the program for a modern audience to enjoy and appreciate.
This year, the HPSD Young Dancers Pre-Show will also be back live before the two performances on Saturday December 10th.
The production features surprise cameos from local figures in the larger-than-life role of Mother Ginger, including this year Caprice Lindsay, assistant vice president and head of business development at Hyde Park Bank. Previous guest performers have included Hyde Park Herald editor Daschell Phillips, Montgomery Place board chairman Mike McGarry, former Kenwood Academy high school principal Dr Gregory Jones, 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston, former State Representative Kimberly DuBuclet and Court Theater Artistic Director Charles Newell.
HPSD faculty and students rehearse the production in renovated studios at the school’s home, 5650 S. Woodlawn Avenue. The renovation project provided three additional studios, for a total of five. HPSD offers more dance styles including belly dance, tap, jazz/contemporary and more options for adults.
Friday December 9 at 7 p.m.;
Saturday 10 December at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.;
and Sunday December 11 at 2 p.m.
at Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th Street, Chicago.
General admission is $33 for adults, $25 for seniors (65+),
$13 for children 6-18 and students with school ID,
and free for children 5 and under.
Special $44 tickets for the reserved section are available for all ages.
Tickets go on sale November 1 at 773-493-8498 or