By Kathy L. Collins

The Brandon Ballet will perform the holiday classic The Nutcracker featuring choreography by Artistic Director Octavio Martin. There will be four performances of Tchaikovsky’s seasonal ballet at Spoto High School Auditorium located at 8538 Eagle Palm Dr. in Riverview. On Saturday, December 12, performances will be held at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, December 13 at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Martin said, “Much of the choreography is going to be new, and the production is bigger this year with the use of more props, scenery and backdrops to enrich the ballet. We have recognized guest principal dancers coming to dance with us from the Orlando Ballet and the Ballet Concierto of Puerto Rico.”

The Nutcracker is a fabulous production with lavish costumes, scenery and a glorious score. The Nutcracker tells the story of a little girl named Clara, who on Christmas Eve is given the gift of a wooden toy nutcracker from her Uncle Drosselmeyer. The toy comes to life and leads Clara on a magical journey through an enchanted winter wonderland where she encounters dancing snowflakes, an elegant Snow Queen and the majestic Sugar Plum Fairy.

According to Martin, “There are many young talented artists in the Brandon Ballet. There will be two different casts for our four performances. The role of Clara will be performed by two of our most talented pre-professionals, Christal Odum, age 17, and Skylar Vogel, age 15. Both trained at The Dance Center, the official school of the Brandon Ballet. The lead role of The Sugar Plum Fairy will be performed by two of our professional dancers, Sarah Metzler and Myriam Frederick. Sarah is currently in her fourth season, and Myriam is in her third season with the company.”

The Brandon Ballet was founded in 1993. It is a non-profit regional ballet company that develops and promotes opportunities for aspiring young dancers. The Brandon Ballet strives to make the performing arts accessible to the community. Tickets for this wonderful production are just $25 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under and $20 for seniors.

For more information on the Brandon Ballet, visit www.brandonballet.org or call 684-4282. To purchase tickets, visit www.tututix.com/brandonballet.