Florida fairy tale: Key West gives classic ballet a subtropical twist

Credit: Carol Tedesco/Florida Keys News Bureau

KEY WEST, Fla. - A classic holiday ballet, transformed into a subtropical fantasy featuring Key West's seafaring history and coral reef, has debuted in the island city.

"Nutcracker Key West" opened Friday evening with a cast of 15 professional dancers and 60 Florida Keys children and adults.

The production was created by Key West resident Joyce Stahl, a classically trained dancer who performed with New Jersey's American Repertory Ballet for 38 years.

It gives an island-style twist to the tale of young Clara's visit to the Sugarplum Fairy with dancers portraying snowy egrets, "jewels" from a 1622 Spanish galleon shipwrecked off Key West and a conch shell symbolic of the Keys.

A coral reef scene features children costumed as colorful fish and shrimp entertaining Clara and her nutcracker.

Performances continue through Dec. 16. You can find more information and purchase tickets here.

Credit: Carol Tedesco/Florida Keys News Bureau

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