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Herbert Migdoll

The seasonal ballet has become something more educational than mere holiday fun; it’s a primer on ballet that parents gift to their children. That can be good — thanks to typically flashy costumes and Tchaikovsky’s delightfully evocative music — and also not so good (those first few scenes can be a real snoozefest). But a visit from the Chicago company, bringing with them athleticism and powerful choreography, proves the production can be not just a 101 survey for little ones but an awe-inspiring spectacle for their chaperones.