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Beautiful Ballet and Tap-Dancing Reindeer
Founded in 1997, the Evanston Dance Ensemble’s mission is to deepen the exposure to and appreciation of dance for highly talented and committed young performers and diverse audiences in the greater Chicago area. We’re excited to have them back to celebrate the holidays with us. This year, you’ll enjoy new choreography from Bea Rashid and Christine Ernst during the Scene in the Pine Forest and Waltz of the Snowflakes from The Nutcracker.
Tchaikovsky wrote the ballet in 1892. The original production was not a success, and it wasn’t until the piece was picked up as a Christmas tradition by numerous U.S. ballet companies in the 1960s that it became the phenomenon we know today. Many major ballet companies around the country generate around 40% of their operating budget from performances.
Back by popular demand are the tap-dancing reindeer for the swinging Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer! In 1939, Robert L. May created Rudolph for Montgomery Ward’s holiday coloring book giveaway. May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, put the poem to music, and Gene Autry’s version of the song went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 during Christmas 1949. In 1964, the song became a holiday television classic, thanks to Rankin/Bass Productions.
The third piece to feature the Evanston Dance Ensemble is Mozart’s Sleigh Ride (German Dance No 3, K 605). In 1787, Mozart was appointed Imperial Chamber Composer for Emperor Joseph II, and his main duty in that position was to write music for the court dances and balls. He produced 10 sets of dances, and this one was written with two others in 1791.
Also on the Holiday program are festive favorites like Anderson's Sleigh Ride and Wendel’s classical adaptations of The Little Bolero Boy and We Three Kings. The Evanston Children’s Choir will sing Ding Dong! Merrily on High, Carol to the King and during Waltz of the Snowflakes; and the North Shore Choral Society joins in performing Rutter’s What Sweeter Music and selections from Handel’s Messiah. Back again this year is the Evanston Symphony Holiday Gospel Choir, singing Quincy Jones's Handel's Messiah: A Soulful Celebration and a new orchestral adaptation of The Temptations’ Silent Night.
SHOP and Support the ESO!
Are you looking to buy a gift for someone a Amazon? Need to stock up on supplies from Amazon?
Amazon has a special program called Smile, where the company donates a small amount of your purchase to your designated charity. Once you select the ESO as your Smile recipient, just point your browser to smile.amazon.com each time you want to shop at Amazon and the Evanston Symphony will benefit. It won’t cost you a thing!
Thanks, and happy shopping.