Let’s Move to the Land of Sweets

Nutcracker fever sweeps SoFla.

For 11 months of the year, we live in a state of perpetual summer, but every December something magical happens: We celebrate winter. Or rather, we celebrate what we recall or imagine winter as being. Inject yourself with an added dose of merriment and attend the most Christmas-y event of all, The Nutcracker. Prima ballerinas from Key West to Broward are smoothing their ankle ribbons, preparing to enchant children young and old with their Sugar-Plum Fairy solos.

This Friday and Saturday, attend a tropical take on the seasonal favorite at the Nutcracker Key West (Tennessee Williams Theatre, 5901 College Rd., Key West). In it, Clara needs the toy soldier militia to save her from the nefarious Rooster King. (We hope conch fritters are properly represented through dance — with dipping sauce, possibly being batted about by six-toed cats). Tickets cost $15 and are available at www.keystix.com. Miami isn’t left out of the whimsy. On Saturday, the 305 wonders how Uncle Drosselmeyer earned his eye patch, when the New World School of the Arts and the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet go toe-to-toe in the classic tale. It’s enchanting crowds for, fittingly, one magical night at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium (2901 W. Flagler St., Miami). Tickets cost $10 to $25. Call 305-547-5414, or visit ticketmaster.com.
Fri., Dec. 5; Sat., Dec. 6, 2008
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The conservatory's loyalties are not to the community at large, but to those with the deepest pockets. Sadly, the instruction is held back because of the schools motto "It takes 10,000 hours to get good at something". I believe that every child has different abilities and does not learn at the same pace. The children that have potential are held back unless they are able to pay for private instruction. Special parts or roles in their annual show are given, by and large, to the highest bidder. Non-Profit entities (as is Thomas Armour), by definition, exist to enrich the lives of those less fortunate. Thomas Armour Youth Ballet has drifted from its mission and now runs the risk of losing its vision to those in charge that believe they are above all reproach.

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