It can be a little intimidating to perform on a big-city stage.
But things settled down for 10-year-old Aubrey Hamilton during last
year's run of "The Nutcracker" in Chicago. "Maybe the first show was
hard because you're a little bit nervous, but after a while it got
easy," the Highland girl said of her debut in the Joffrey Ballet
production. "It was really fun just being onstage with all my friends,"
After playing a Spanish doll in 2009, Aubrey will be back. She is one
of the dancers from Northwest Indiana chosen to join the cast of Robert
Joffrey's "The Nutcracker" during its Dec. 10-26 stint at the
Auditorium Theatre in Chicago.
Aubrey's 8-year-old sister, Connor, has also been picked for this
year's engagement, which will welcome nearly 120 young dancers from the
Chicago area, Indiana and Wisconsin.
The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago has made it a holiday tradition to share the stage with aspiring kids.
Kelly Hamilton, the mother of Aubrey and Connor, said her daughters
attend dance classes at the Joffrey school in Chicago. "They are in the
preprofessional program," mom said.
Angie Konstantinopoulos of Munster is another proud mother who will
get to see her child in "The Nutcracker," a lush slice of theater.
Kali Konstantinopoulos, 11, will play a mounted mouse -- a
soldier-like character -- in the "The Nutcracker," which is based on a
19th-century German tale. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that
the child will always remember," said Kali's mother, terming the Joffrey
"a world-class ballet company."
Lavish period costumes highlight "The Nutcracker" at the Auditorium
Theatre, which will be transformed into a winter wonderland and also
evoke Victorian America in the 1850s.
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