Indiana Ballet Conservatory students embrace ‘Plum’ roles


For Carmel High School sophomore Haylie Fletcher, progressing into the role of Sugar Plum Fairy is truly rewarding.

“I am so thankful as I have been able to grow so much as a dancer and person through Indiana Ballet Conservatory over the years,” Fletcher said. “I love dancing as the Sugar Plum Fairy. The character is very delicate and generous, which I enjoy portraying and am so excited to share with the audience.”

Fletcher shares the Sugar Plum Fairy role with Ashlie Rohan in performances of IBC’s production of “The Nutcracker,” set for Nov. 25-26 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. The performances are at 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 25 and 1 and 6 p.m. Nov. 26.

“I’m looking forward to it because it’s the biggest role in the ballet and it’s a very challenging role,” said Rohan, who has been at IBC for 11 years. “It’s so beautiful and there are so many challenges to it, which also makes it very fun but also hard at the same time. Ever since I was a little baby angel in the show, after I was done performing, I would go up in the audience and watch all of Act 3. I loved looking at all the dances and it’s made me the dancer that I am today.”

Thomas Wilcutts, a Fishers resident and eighth-grader who takes online classes, plays the little nutcracker.

“I love the battle scenes and the music in it, and I love being on stage and performing,” Wilcutts said.

Starla Karlsson, a native of Sweden who lives in Carmel, performs in the character dance called Spanish.

“I like that I can play around with my character and I just love performing,” said Karlsson, a freshman who takes online classes.

Karlsson said the Spanish role takes a great deal of stamina.

“There is a lot of footwork,” she said.

Reilly VerSchure, an Indianapolis resident and high school student who takes online classes, portrays the Harlequin Doll. This is VerSchure’s first year with IBC.

“It’s a lot of jumps, which I really enjoy, and it’s a fun character to play because you are playing a doll, which is not something you pretend to be very often,” said VerSchure, who moved from Valparaiso to attend IBC. “The teachers push you to be your best, so it’s a fulfilling feeling after rehearsals to know that you improved.”

Celine McGrew, a Carmel resident and freshman taking online classes, portrays the Mouse Queen.

“I get to work on my intensity and my confidence in my dancing,” McGrew said. “I’ve needed to work on that in my dancing, so it’s a good way to work on that.”

Luke Derksen, a Carmel resident and senior who takes online classes, is performing in the Spanish character dance for the second time.

“It’s probably the most challenging dance I’ve done in ‘The Nutcracker’ and it’s really fast,” Derksen said. 

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