Dazzlers Join Ballet Vero Beach for Nutcracker On The Indian River


Courtesy of Ballet Vero Beach

On Friday, Dec. 10, the Dazzlers joined forces with Ballet Vero Beach for a performance of The Nutcracker.

Evan Liberman, Managing Editor

As the curtain closes on the School’s Dec. 10 performance of The Nutcracker with Ballet Vero Beach, The Pharcyde spoke to some of the people instrumental to the production to hear how it all came together.

Although the collaboration came to the stage this winter, it has been in the works for some time, according to Performing Arts Department Chair Mrs. Sara Salivar. “We initially were going to collaborate in 2020, but as you know, COVID-19 hit, and we were not able to bring it to the Benjamin Hall stage.” she wrote to The Pharcyde in a Nov. 29 email.

Despite this major setback, Mrs. Salivar was determined to bring the performance to The Benjamin School
for several reasons. “The Nutcracker is a beautiful and long-standing tradition in the ballet world, especially during the holidays… I felt this opportunity to join forces with a professional company such as Ballet VeroBeach would be a great opportunity for our dancers to experience this magical ballet. Secondly, because this particular ballet is set in Florida, using the Indian River ecosystem as its backdrop, I thought it was such a clever idea, that I wanted to bring this clever version to our TBS community,” she added.

However, interestingly enough, the link between the Performing Arts Department and Ballet Vero Beach was Associate Director of College Counseling Mrs. Bekka Goldberg. Mrs. Goldberg’s brother, Mr. Adam Schnell, serves as the Artistic Director of Ballet Vero Beach. Mrs. Salivar noted that Schnell “has done such an outstanding job coordinating and working out the details of this production.”

Commenting on making the connection between the School and Ballet Vero Beach, Mrs. Goldberg stated: “I wanted to connect Benjamin and Ballet Vero Beach because I believe in the power of the arts and arts education. Benjamin has such robust arts offerings and stellar facilities that I knew the two organizations could form a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Additionally, she noted: “…There are so many transferable skills gained from the arts, and it takes a lot to step on stage and perform. It is a great opportunity for our dancers to work with professional dancers and choreographers and ultimately perform in a professional production. Beyond that, I think many difficult topics can be addressed through the power of live performance–there is tremendous potential for further education and discussions to occur. The possibilities are endless!”

Mr. Schnell added onto Mrs. Goldberg’s comments: “BVB would be nowhere without the partnerships we cultivate, and the fact that Benjamin faculty and staff have bought into the idea of this project at all speaks volumes about the quality of the school as a whole. It has been a Herculean effort on the part of many people to get to this point and the future of us working together looks very bright indeed,” he wrote. In addition to Mr. Schnell and Mrs. Salivar, Benjamin’s Dazzler dance team was also key to making
the production the success that it was.

Sophomore and Dazzler Asia Cohen noted the teamwork behind the production: “Working with Ballet Vero Beach was a great opportunity and great experience. The Nutcracker is one of my favorite performances to do and having a different take on it
inspires me more with other things in the dance world,” she said.

All the hard work that went into the project culminated in a very successful performance and a memorable way to begin the holiday season.