Rockford Dance Company stages The Emperor and the Nightingale Jan. 29

From press release

Rockford Dance Company (RDC) will present Hans Christian Anderson’s beloved fairy tale, The Emperor and the Nightingale, at 2 and 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29, at The Sullivan Theater (formerly New American Theater), 118 N. Main St., Rockford.

The Chidren’s Dance Theater presentation has been designed for the family. A narration by the composer, portrayed by Jessie Kuntz and written by Connie Kuntz, will delight audiences of all ages. Families will also be assisted in making the connection through a specialized program, which offers a coloring page for the children to learn the characters.

The story opens with the Emperor of China learning that one of the most beautiful things in his empire is the song of the nightingale. When he orders a nightingale brought to him, a kitchen maid leads the court to a nearby forest, where the bird is found. The nightingale agrees to appear at court. The Emperor is so delighted with the bird’s song, he keeps the nightingale in captivity. When the Emperor is given a bejeweled mechanical bird, he loses interest in the real nightingale, who returns to the forest.

The mechanical bird breaks down because of overuse. The nightingale learns that the Emperor is deathly ill and returns to the palace. Death is so moved by the nightingale’s song that he departs, and the Emperor recovers. The nightingale agrees to sing to the Emperor of all the happenings in the empire, so that he will be known as the wisest Emperor ever to live.

For ticket purchases, contact RDC at (815) 963-3341. Tickets are $9. More information can be found at

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