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’Tis the Season for The Nutcracker

In Vero Beach, Sugar Plum Fairies are a dime a dozen.
The trick is to find the ones who really have talent

In Vero Classical Ballet’s Nutcracker, the 35-member cast includes dancers from 4 years of age to upwards of 70. Shown: Alex Schulke, Olivia Schulke, and Beth Card.

In Vero Classical Ballet’s Nutcracker, the 35-member cast includes dancers from 4 years of age to upwards of 70. Shown: Alex Schulke, Olivia Schulke, and Beth Card.

In hundreds of households across town, Christmas is as much about dancing snowflakes and the Sugar Plum Fairy as tree decorating and frenzied gift-buying. The holiday season annually unfolds onstage by dancers on their toes retelling the rather bizarre story of a broken wooden nutcracker, saved from the Mouse King by a tenderhearted Clara and magically transformed into a handsome prince. In celebration of the young heroine, an international collection of confectionary characters happily leaps and spins across a merry Land of Sweets.

Vero Classical Ballet, based at city-owned Leisure Square, is perhaps best known for its annual showing of Tchaikovsky’s fabled holiday classic The Nutcracker, authentically set and costumed in Austria during the Napoleonic era. This year’s production was staged on November 26 in the suitably equipped, 1,000-plus-seat Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center. The 35-member cast included dancers from 4 years of age to upwards of 70, says Barry Trammell who, with wife Amy, is the ballet’s artistic director.

Prior to opening the ballet company in 2005, Barry’s professional career took him from the now-defunct Ballet Florida to the still-thriving Oregon Ballet Theatre, City Ballet of Houston, and Memphis Ballet. “Then I went into my ‘guesting’ career,” he says. Amy has danced with the illustrious Colorado Ballet as well as the same state’s Grand Valley Ballet. As the Trammell household includes three children ages 6 and under, Barry supports their “artistic habits” by selling real estate.

Read the entire article in the December 2011 issue