KEY WEST, Florida Keys — A unique subtropical version of the classic ballet “The Nutcracker” awaits audiences Dec. 7-11 in Key West, flavored with characters and sets depicting the island’s colorful history, vibrant coral reef environment and even free-roaming local roosters.
Eighteen professional dancers from the critically acclaimed New York Dance Project are to join approximately 80 Florida Keys children and adults in the production, which deftly infuses the traditional “Nutcracker” story with Keys imagery.
Produced by Key West’s renowned Tennessee Williams Theatre, the timeless tale of young Clara’s holiday dream unfolds in an island city setting circa 1863.
Characters include dancing snowy egrets, phosphorescent sea anemones, fighting fish, the breathtaking Sea Star Fairy and a nutcracker whose headdress features a conch shell, the best-known symbol of the Florida Keys.
Production highlights include a dream battle where toy sailors protect Clara from the Rooster King and a coral reef scene where Clara and her nutcracker-come-to-life, after descending beneath the sea in a diving bell, are entertained by a dance of tumbling shrimp and bright-hued reef fish.
The storyline also includes imagery drawn from the history of the sunken Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, shipwrecked off Key West in 1622.
“Nutcracker Key West” incorporates expertly crafted sets and museum-quality costumes. All support the evolution of the well-loved ballet into a celebration of Key West’s culture, traditions and environmental richness.
Six performances of “Nutcracker Key West” are scheduled, including two matinees. They are staged at the Tennessee Williams Theatre, located at 5901 College Road on the campus of the College of the Florida Keys.
Priced from $25 to $45 per person, tickets can be purchased online at keystix.com.
Event information: nutcrackerkeywest.com
Eighteen professional dancers from the critically acclaimed New York Dance Project are to join approximately 80 Florida Keys children and adults in the production. Image: Carol Tedesco
Expertly crafted sets and museum-quality costumes support the evolution of the well-loved ballet into a celebration of Key West’s culture, traditions and environmental richness. Image: Carol Tedesco