The Columbia County Ballet begins its holiday season Friday with a performance of The Nutcracker.
In the ballet’s 14th annual production, the audience follows lead character Clara as she watches her Nutcracker doll turn into a prince and embarks on a journey with him into the Snow Forest and Land of Sweets.
This is the second consecutive year that The Nutcracker will be held at the Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad St., Augusta. In previous years, the performance took place at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans.
Ballet Artistic Director Ron Jones said the Imperial’s 850-seat theater can hold a much larger audience than the one in Evans. He also said there was a special aura in the Imperial.
“When the audience started filing in, you could just sense the excitement,” Jones said of last year’s performance. “We’re looking forward to another year at the Imperial.”
About 65 dancers from the Martinez dance studio will take to the stage at 7 p.m.
New backdrops for the snowflake and Candyland scenes in the second act will enhance the production this year, Jones said.
“It really is pretty,” he said.
The ballet will incorporate music by Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, which is commonly heard in shopping malls and stores throughout the Christmas holiday.
“It somehow represents in people’s mind, the fantasies and the beauty and the magic of the Christmas season,” he said.
Jones, anticipating a sellout, encourages those interested in seeing the ballet to purchase tickets in advance.
Tickets for The Nutcracker cost from $15 to $29, depending on theater seating, and can be bought online by visiting www.columbiacountyballet.com.