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Snakes on a Stage: Joffrey Ballet Debuts New Production with Live Reptiles

By Jackie Kostek | October 14, 2013 6:33am
Joffrey Ballet Welcomes Snakes On Stage
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DNAinfo/Jackie Kostek

DOWNTOWN — La Bayadere: The Temple Dancer — the Joffrey Ballet production which runs Oct. 16 though Oct. 27 at the Auditorium Theatre — might make some audience members' skin crawl.

A handful of live snakes will join dancers on stage during the second and third act of the show.

Luckily for some of the more squeamish dancers, the snakes will be handled on stage during the shows by staff from the Traveling World of Reptiles — a 20-year-old company that shows off their reptiles in classrooms and on TV in Chicago and the suburbs.

"As long as I don't have to dance," said Jeremy Taulbee, with a laugh. Toulbee — who lives in Tinley Park and has worked with the company for the past two years — said he's performed with the snakes countless times, but never on stage in a ballet.

To see the dancers rehearse with the snakes for the first time, watch the video.