Nutcracker Dance-Along Sparks Blacktip Island’s Holiday Celebrations

Stage props for Blacktip Island’s Nutcracker Dance-Along include nondenominational toy soldiers, fanciful scuba divers and the Mouse King.

Stage props for Blacktip Island’s Nutcracker Dance-Along include nondenominational toy soldiers, fanciful scuba divers and the Mouse King.

The Blacktip Island Ecumenical Council will kick off the holiday season Saturday evening with a Nutcracker Dance-Along at Diddley’s Landing public dock. The event will feature the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet.

“Last year’s Messiah sing-along was such a success, so we thought, ‘why not take it up a notch?’” said the former-Reverend Jerrod Ephesians, the event’s organizer. “It’s something the whole community can participate in, and it’s more inclusive than a Judeo-Christian themed group sing.

“Two left feet, three left feet, it doesn’t matter,” Ephesians said. “Just come out and celebrate the seasonal holiday of your choice with the feet of your choice.”

“We debated dividing the main roles amongst the most able dancers, but that runs contrary to the holiday spirit,” choreographer Doris Blenny said. “It’ll be an organic free-for-all, really. You want to be the Clara? The world is your stage. Fifteen yobbos want to chassé as the Nutcracker Prince, well, more power to them.

“We’re not requiring Nutcracker-specific garb,” Blenny said. “The Wiccans will be dancing as trees. The Raëlians will be dressed as space alien mice.”

Locals are cautiously optimistic this year’s religiously-inclusive event will be free of the altercations that marred last year’s sing-along.

“Folks were bound and determined to sing outside their vocal range,” soprano Wendy Beaufort said. “Clete Horn, reeking of rum, insisted Baby Jesus told him to sing with the altos. It ruined the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus. James Conlee yanked him over with the basses, punches flew and we ended up hauling Clete, James and four tenors to the clinic.”

“There’s no telling what’ll happen tomorrow night,” Jerrod Ephesians said. “Or even who’ll turn up. The pas de deux may be more of a pas de quarante-deux. But that’s part of the holiday magic.”

Island traditionalists, however, are boycotting the event.

“Won’t be a silent night and won’t be a holy night,” resident Rocky Shore said. “Unless you mean wholly chaotic. This’s ‘Christmas season,’ not ‘holiday season.’ Christmas is about your yearly church visit, presents and arguing with family, not making a jackass of yourself in public.”

Others are intrigued by the dance-along.

“I can’t wait to see Dermott Bottoms nail that grand jeté in tights and a kilt,” Molly Miller said. “He’s got the legs for it, but that’s a lot of gut to get airborn.”

Dancers are strongly encouraged to provide their own leotards, dive skins or other dance-appropriate attire.

“We have loaners,” Doris Blenny said, “but, well, most are from resort lost-and-found bins, if you take my meaning. We only have so much disinfectant.”

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