November 29, 2023

Backstage at the Egyptian: Beth Fowler talks 30 years of ‘The Nutcracker’ & the Beth Fowler Dance Company

ZANDER: Could you introduce yourself and the Beth Fowler Dance Company/School of Dance?
BETH: My name is Beth Fowler and I started the Beth Fowler School of Dance when I was 15 years old, 40 years ago. I started dancing professionally at age 13, and continued doing that as I started teaching. I love children, sharing my passion with others and it has given me a great creative outlet.

10 years after starting the School of Dance… 30 years ago, I had developed a strong group of Pre-Professional level dancers and wanted to start presenting “The Nutcracker” every December. I knew in order to start presenting public performances like “The Nutcracker” I needed to have a Professional Level Dance Company that could take the production to the next level. So I started the Beth Fowler Dance Company with annual Company Evaluations and Auditions, being the guideline for the dancers goals and expectations. This Season we celebrate our Pearl 30th Anniversary of both “The Nutcracker” and of the “Beth Fowler Dance Company.”

Z: What should audiences expect from this rendition of the Nutcracker?
B: Our Annual Nutcracker Ballet is oftentimes described by many people as being fun, colorful, and gets everyone in the holiday spirit, with a great storyline that is easy to follow. We have many “special effects” that we include in our Productions to really help the live performances come to life!

When we choreograph, we first consider two things. First we want to make sure all dancers have many opportunities, so we create many characters to create many dancing roles and to bring the story to life! The other thing we put on a very high priority is that it must be very entertaining to the audience. By leaving every audience member feeling like a child at Christmas that just went on a magical journey, we had given our audience the magic of the holidays and an experience they will never forget!

Z: The show will be 30 years strong this show, what does this mean for you?
B: What has made our Pearl 30th Anniversary so special is all the people we have shared it with along the way. Not only current dancers, past dancers, but also audience members that keep coming back year after year that don’t know any of the performers in the show. All current and alumni dancers have been a big part of the holiday traditions for so many community families. This is why we always have a Reunion Reception for all dancers and audience members from the past 30 years to celebrate each Anniversary! There will be many photo displays of past Nutcrackers at all 4 Nutcracker Performances, as well as a food and drink reception after the 2pm show this Saturday, Dec. 2nd from 4pm to 5:30pm.

Z: What is special about performing at an historic theatre like the Egyptian?
B: The Egyptian Theatre is our home away from home. We have worked with Alex at the Egyptian Theatre now for 20 Years who knows all our shows as well as we do. He does a fantastic job with the lighting design. This allows me to focus on the dancers because I know he is putting in 100% effort into the lighting design and special effects as he is always coming up with great new ideas.

Z: Where should readers stay updated on both the Dance Company and School of Dance?
B: We are located in Genoa and in St. Charles Illinois and can be reached on our website’s “Contact Us Page” at www.BethFowlerSchoolOfDance.com We are also on Facebook and Instagram. We hope to see everyone at our 30th Nutcracker Celebration, Cinderella in March, and Dancing Thru the Decades in June, all at the beautiful Egyptian Theatre, in Dekalb IL.