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A Holiday Ballet Tradition Pays Tribute to Our Natural Surroundings

On December 29th and 30th join Ballet Vero Beach for a thrilling milestone to celebrate their fifth anniversary season, the world premiere of Nutcracker on the Indian River. Spectacular sets, stunning costumes, sparkling choreography, and spellbinding special effects are sure to make this brand-new production the hottest ticket of the season.

Nutcracker on the Indian River will be a unique Vero Beach production. The libretto and classical score will retain all the whimsy and magic of the original ballet, but will move the action to the year Vero was founded (1919). By taking the ballet’s heroine, Marie, on a holiday journey from New York to Florida, Fifth Avenue Mansions, Grand Central Station, and rail cars become settings. Instead of a second act featuring candy characters, Marie will dream of the shores of the Indian River Lagoon, and will be entertained by all manner of local flora and fauna. From land crabs to manatees and river otters to bougainvillea, Nutcracker on the Indian River will take all the magic of the stage and use that magic to both entertain and inspire.

Twenty-one of Ballet Vero Beach’s professional dancers will share the stage with local dance students and youth constituents of their Ticket Donation Program. Adam Schnell, Ballet Vero’s CEO and Artistic Director is a proponent of creating opportunities for students to consider dance as their future. He served as director of dance for Riverside Children’s Theatre. In December 2010 his “The Nutcracker: In Swingtime!” premiered at RCT to sold out audiences and critical acclaim.

Since closing out the Riverside Children’s Theatre production he and his team have been working diligently on raising the $300,000 in funds necessary to produce this new and unique version, taking the pairing of professional and student dancers to new level.

snow queen tutu

Finished tutu for the Snow Queen

(The tutus alone in for this production have a total price tag of $52,000!)

“It will now cast a wider net and be open to everyone and perhaps it may become a gateway for some kids that didn’t think about dance as a pathway towards the future,” Schnell said to TCPalm in an interview last year as plans for the new production were taking shape.

“It will be an amazing opportunity to get these kids involved with professionals who will be role models whether they become dancers or not,” he added. “It’s a very powerful tool to have working professional artists in the same production with student artists.

The unique production of Nutcracker on the Indian River will move beyond the stage of the Vero Beach Performing Arts Center with the help of The Indian River Land Trust. Walk-through exhibits placed throughout the venue will highlight the fragility and necessity of the Indian River Lagoon to our local way of life.

According to Schnell “Everything about this production is a love letter to the beauty of our natural surroundings, and I am certain it will become our area's newest holiday tradition.”


December 29 at 8:00pm December 30 at 2:00pm VBHS Performing Arts Center

Tickets are available HERE

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