The Nutcracker will feature original Fleming clock

Published 9:14 am Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Audience members will see something different this weekend, during the Decatur County Ballet Company’s presentation of the traditional Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker.

Tami Wester, artistic director of the Decatur County Ballet Company, said that this year’s production will include a life-size grandfather clock specially crafted by the late John Fleming of Bainbridge. Fleming’s wife, Mildred Fleming, was the founder and artistic director of The Dance Arts Guild of Tallahassee, Fla., and her husband served as the company’s set artist.

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The six-foot clock features an owl ornamentation with moving wings, as well as other features. It had been used in Tallahassee productions of The Nutcracker for more than 25 years, and this year is the first time it will be used in Bainbridge’s local production. In 1996, John Fleming was asked to create a scaled-down version of the clock as an ornament, which was placed on the official White House Christmas tree in Washington, D.C.

Wester said that the clock had been in Mildred Fleming’s possession for the past several years, but earlier this summer she donated it to the Decatur County Ballet Company for use in Nutcracker productions.

“I promised her we would take extremely good care of it,” she said. “She knows that it’s going to be used in our productions and we’re very appreciative she’s letting us have it.”

Performances of The Nutcracker are Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m., at the Kirbo Center on the campus of Bainbridge College. Tickets are $15 at Lucretia’s School of Dance, located at 117 S. Broad St. in Bainbridge, or $20 at the door. There are also $25 tickets for the VIP section, which includes a champagne reception after the Saturday night performance.

Wester said there are about 100 Bainbridge children in the cast, including dancers as young as 4 years old, through high-school age. Hannah Lambert will play “Clara,” Nico Dean is “Fritz,” Sarah Anne New is “The Rat Queen,” Callie Malone will be “The Snow Queen,” Mallie Rollins is “The Rose Queen” and Kyle Horne will play “Uncle Drosselmeyer.”

In addition, there are also several guest artists from the Pas de Vie Ballet Company. Rick Clark will play “The Prince,” Niki Smith will be “The Sugar Plum Fairy” and Allison McGlamry will perform as “The Arabian Dancer.”

Wester said the performers have been working on the production since August.

“The kids have worked very hard, and I believe it’s going to be a wonderful show,” she said.