KEY WEST — 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.