Children’s Auditions for Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker

The Joffrey Ballet holds open auditions for the Children’s Cast of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker at its downtown studios in Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph Street, Sunday, September 15.  All students in the greater Chicagoland area with dance experience are welcome to audition.

ID 10096347 Childrens Auditions for Joffrey Ballets The Nutcracker

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This annual audition is for all children, from any studio or school, interested in auditioning for the 26th annual production of The Nutcracker, whether or not they have participated in The Joffrey’s Nutcracker in the past.  The audition will be directed by faculty and staff from the Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, who will be looking for dancers between 4’ and 5’ tall and 9 to 14 years old.  


All dancers need to bring a headshot or photo no larger than 4” x 6” and an audition form (available online through with them on the day of the audition. The Nutcracker Children’s Cast roles are Party Girls & Boys, Polichinelles (Mother Ginger’s kids), Battle Mice, Soldiers, Mounted Mice, Snow Tree Angels and Dolls.

Audition Times Based on Dancer Criteria:

Ages 9-11, Height: 4’ – 4’5”:  Registration 9:00-10:00 am, Audition 10:00-11:30 am

Ages 10-14, Height: 4’5” – 5’:  Registration 11:00 am-12:00 pm, Audition 12:00-2:00 pm

Ages 9-10, Height: 4’5” – 5’:  Registration 1:30-2:30 pm, Audition 2:30-3:30 pm

Dancers should be prepared to stay until 4pm on the day of the audition.


Dancers must be available for rehearsals in October, November and December.  Rehearsals begin October 1 and take place at Joffrey Tower.  Performances take place December 6-28 at the Auditorium Theatre (no performance December 25).


Advanced Registration:

Interested dancers are encouraged to register in advance at   They are also encouraged to refer to the Nutcracker Children’s Cast FAQs (also available at contact Joffrey Academy Reception if they have any additional questions:

About Joffrey’s The Nutcracker

Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker, Chicago’s most popular holiday tradition, returns for its seasonal run at the Auditorium Theatre, bringing Tchaikovsky’s classic score to life with dancing snowflakes, battling toys, waltzing flowers and the splendor of the full Joffrey company on stage with over 100 young dancers from the Chicagoland area.  Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker is presented in 23 performances, December 6 – 28, 2013.

Tickets, priced from $31 to $132, are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official Box Office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph Street, as well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University box office, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by telephone at (800) 982-2787, or online at

Chicago Dancing Festival Starts August 20 through 24

ID 10088544 Chicago Dancing Festival Starts August 20 through 24

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As we approach summer’s end, let’s celebrate and have a great family time at the 7th annual Chicago Dancing Festival!  This is an event that you do not want to miss, so mark your calendars today!  Create memories, bring the digital camera, family and friends for a fantastic event!

Highlights this year include two Chicago Dancing Festival Commissions, the Chicago Premiere of Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman’s Episode 31 performed by The Joffrey Ballet and the Premiere of Lane Alexander’s and Bril Barrett’s In the beginning… performed by Chicago Human Rhythm Project.

This year also sees more live music throughout the Festival, as Victoria Jaiani of The Joffrey Ballet, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and festival newcomer Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater (contemporary Flamenco) all perform to live accompaniment. Philadelphia-based company Philadanco and Chicago-based Natya Dance Theatre (contemporary Bharata Natyam) will also be seen for the first time in the 2013 Chicago Dancing Festival.

Chicago Dancing Festival Schedule 2013 – August 20 – 24, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 7:30 pm – “The Harris at 10! Anniversary Special”

Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive

Brian Brooks of Brian Brooks Moving Company, I’m Going to Explode by Brian Brooks

Chicago Human Rhythm Project, In the beginning…^ by Lane Alexander and Bril Barrett (Premiere)

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Little mortal jump by Alejandro Cerrudo

The Joffrey Ballet, Son of Chamber Symphony by Stanton Welch

Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Crisis Variations by Lar Lubovitch with live accompaniment by ensemble Le Train Bleu

Brooklyn Mack  from the Washington Ballet and Tamako Miyazaki* from Columbia Classical Ballet, pas de deux from Diana and Actaeon by Agrippina Vaganova

Wednesday, August 21, 6:30 pm – “Solitaire – A Game of Dance” (Gala Performance & Benefit)

Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Avenue

The Chicago Dancing Festival celebrates seven years with its annual Gala, an evening celebrating solo artists from the world of classical, contemporary, Bharata Natyam and Flamenco dance. This fundraising benefit includes a performance and benefit with an opportunity to mingle with many of this year’s participating artists. This is the only paid ticket event during the 2013 Festival. Tickets are $250 per person and can be purchased by emailing Space is limited.

Thursday, August 22, 7:30 pm – “Dancing in Chicago”

Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater* in residence at Northeastern Illinois University, Bolero by Dame Libby Komaiko

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pacopepepluto by Alejandro Cerrudo

The Joffrey Ballet, Episode 31 by Alexander Ekman (Chicago Premiere)

The Joffrey Ballet, Tarantella by George Balanchine

Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Transparent Things by Lar Lubovitch with live accompaniment by the Bryant Park Quartet

Friday, August 23, 6 pm and 8 pm – “Solitaire – A Game of Dance” (The Art of the Solo)

Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Avenue

Samuel Lee Roberts of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, In/Side by Robert Battle

Brian Brooks of Brian Brooks Moving Company, I’m Going to Explode by Brian Brooks

Camille A. Brown of Camille A. Brown & Dancers, The Real Cool (a solo excerpt from Mr. Tol E. Rance) by Camille A. Brown

Julia Hinojosa of Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater*, Ensueños de mi Caribe by Julia Hinojosa with live accompaniment by flamenco singer and guitarist Paco Fonta and percussionist Javier Saume Mazzei

Johnny McMillan, David Schultz and Jonathan Fredrickson of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pacopepepluto by Alejandro Cerrudo

Victoria Jaiani of The Joffrey Ballet, The Dying Swan by Mikhail Fokine with live accompaniment by cellist Barbara Haffner

Krithika Rajagopalan of Natya Dance Theatre*, Sthithihi by Krithika Rajagopalan

Saturday, August 24, 7:30 pm – “Celebration of Dance”

Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph Street

Samuel Lee Roberts of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, In/Side by Robert Battle

Chicago Human Rhythm Project, In the beginning…^ by Lane Alexander and Bril Barrett

Giordano Dance Chicago, Two Become Three by Alexander Ekman (2012 CDF Commission)

Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater*, Bolero by Dame Libby Komaiko

The Joffrey Ballet, Interplay by Jerome Robbins

Philadanco*, Wake Up by Rennie Harris

Brooklyn Mack* from the Washington Ballet and Tamako Miyazaki* from Columbia Classical Ballet, pas de deux from Diana and Actaeon by Agrippina Vaganova

All programs are subject to change.


All events are free but tickets for the indoor performance showcases (Harris Theater, Auditorium Theatre and two MCA shows) are reserved in advance. Tickets for these shows became available starting July 16 and “sold out” within hours. All tickets will be held at Will-Call.

However, any tickets unclaimed 15 minutes prior to curtain time each night will be released to those in a Stand-by line. Stand-by lines begin one hour before the performance, in person only. All seating for all venues is general admission.

No tickets are needed for the outdoor “Celebration of Dance” Grand Finale performance at the Pritzker Pavilion, Saturday, August 24.

Chicago Dancing Festival Remains Nation’s Largest Free Festival of Dance


Chicago Dancing Festival Chicago Dancing Festival Starts August 20 through 24

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About the Chicago Dancing Festival Established in 2007

The Chicago Dancing Festival was founded to elevate awareness of dance in Chicago, to increase accessibility to the art form and to provide inspiration for local artists. Its mission is to present a wide variety of excellent dance, enrich the lives of the people of Chicago and provide increased accessibility to the art form, thereby helping create a new audience. Its vision is to raise the national and international profile of dance in the city, furthering Chicago as the “dance capital of the world” (as Mayor Rahm Emanuel put it at the 2012 Chicago Dancing Festival).

Lar Lubovitch (Founder, Artistic Director) is one of America’s most versatile and highly acclaimed choreographers and founded the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company 45 years ago. In the years since, he has choreographed more than 100 dances for his New York-based company, which has performed in nearly all 50 American states as well as in more than 30 foreign countries. Born in Chicago, Mr. Lubovitch was educated at the University of Iowa and the Juilliard School in New York.   Jay Franke (Founder, Artistic Director) began his formal training at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas. In 1993, he was selected as a Finalist for the Presidential Scholar in the Arts and accepted into the Juilliard School. Upon receiving his BFA in Dance from the Juilliard School, Mr. Franke went to work with the Twyla Tharp Dance Company, “THARP!” Mr. Franke has since danced with The 58 Group, Lyric Opera Ballet Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and was a leading dancer in the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company from 2005 to 2010.   The Chicago Dancing Festival is grateful for its 2013 supporters including: InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, Official Hotel Partner; Chicago Sun-Times, Print Media Sponsor; Museum of Contemporary Art; Harris Theater for Music and Dance; City of Chicago, Millennium Park; The Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University; The Robert and Jamie Taylor Foundation; David Herro and Jay Franke; Illinois Arts Council; National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Chicago Community Trust; Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development; The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince; and the Irving Harris Foundation.

For more information on the Chicago Dancing Festival, its history and 2013 offerings, check out the newly redesigned

Chicago Park District Fall Registration Begins!

Chicago Park District logo1 Chicago Park District Fall Registration Begins!

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Parents, fall online registration begins Mon., Aug. 5 for parks west of California Ave. and Tues., Aug. 6 for parks east of California Ave. at 9 a.m. In-person registration begins either Sat., Aug. 10 or Mon. Aug. 12 depending upon the park. View this list to confirm a particular park’s registration dates.  Most fall programs run Sept. 16 through Dec. 2.

Enjoy Family Sunday’s at Arlington Park through Labor Day

 Enjoy Family Sundays at Arlington Park through Labor DayParents, are you looking for a great family outing?  Look, no further!  Bring your family to the Arlington Park Race Track on any Sunday through Labor Day for a fun-filled and affordable family day excursion from 1:00 p.m until 5:00 p.m.  Each week, there are different activities to include, but not limited to:  hands-on activities, face painting, magicians, jugglers, science experiments, family spa, petting zoo, caricaturists and live entertainment!

Check the calendar on the Arlington Park website at Family Day at Arlington International to view the highlights of each Sunday.  Admission rates are reasonable at:  $8/adults and $2/children (ages 4 – 17).  Arlington Park International is located at 2200 West Euclid Avenue in Arlington Heights, IL.  For additional information, please call the park at (847) 385-7500.  Enjoy!

First Lady Michelle’s Initiative – Let’s Move!

First Lady Obama OnlineAthens First Lady Michelles Initiative   Lets Move!

Photo by OnlineAthens is excited about the Let’s Move initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama to address the issues of childhood obesity, healthier food choices and getting physically active! The First Lady wants to ensure that our next generation, our country’s most valuable asset, leads a healthier lifestyle.  Let’s Move provides parents, childcare providers, educators, community workers and all others that are responsible for the daily care and responsibility of the development and growth of our American children with informed choices regarding healthy eating habits and exercise!

At, we are proud of the Let’s Move initiative and all the great information that is disseminated on a daily basis through their user-friendly website at We invite all of our subscribers to visit the Let’s Move website often, to learn about great recipes, getting physically active and programs that are available in your local communities.  Thank you, First Lady Michelle for looking after our children and making our country a better place for our youth!, salutes your efforts!  We love you!

Bud Billiken Parade – August 10

Chicago Defender Charities Bud Billiken Parade   August 10

Photo by Chicago Defender Charities

Mark your calendar for the annual Bud Billiken Parade, Picnic & Festival on Saturday, August 10, 2013!  The Back-to-School traditional parade will kick off at 10:00 a.m. at 39th Dr. Martin Luther King Drive and proceed south to 51st Street.  Bring your lawn chairs to watch a parade complete with celebrities, colorful floats, drill teams, military service men & women, powerful bands and dance groups!  For additional information visit the Chicago Defender Charities website at

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Family Movie in the Park – August 1

Despicable Me Movie Logo Family Movie in the Park   August 1Alderman Matt O’Shea, the19th Ward Youth Foundation and Beverly Ridge Homeowners Association will host an outdoor screening of Despicable Me at Ridge Park located at 9625 S. Longwood Drive on Thursday, August 1, 2013.  The movie is schedule to begin at dusk and is open to the public.  Bring your blanket, bug spray and enjoy a great family summer evening outdoors with your neighbors.

A big thank you is extended to generous sponsors:  Peoples Energy, Saint Xavier University, Beverly Bank & Trust Company, Little Company of Mary Hospital, Senator Bill Cunningham and Representative Fran Hurley for making these events possible!

DuSable Museum Presents AfriCobra Art Exhibit – July 26

Africobra Exhibit DuSable Museum Presents AfriCobra Art Exhibit   July 26The DuSable Museum of African American History presents AfriCobra an art exhibit on July 26, 2013.  The opening night of AfriCobra will feature music, poetry, book signing and a reception from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.  The museum will feature the exhibit from July 26 through September 29, 2013.  The opening night reception is FREE!  The DuSable Museum is located at 740 East 56th Place in Chicago.  Enjoy!

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