The 17th annual production of "The Roar of Love" will be presented Friday and Saturday by the Ron Jones Academy of Ballet.
The ballet is an original creation by Ron Jones and his wife Kathleen. It is based on C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
It was first presented in the ball room of the Bon Air Hotel in 1985.
Jones said the ballet was created with the intention of presenting it annually at the end of the academy's year.
"It was something we would want to do over and over," he said. "What a blessing it would be."
The story is one of self-sacrifice, ethics, redemption and love, he said.
Four children enter the mythical land of Narnia, where they encounter danger and adventure but eventually triumph to return to their homes.
Jones said the ballet has enough roles for all the students at the academy, even the youngest. As the students progress, they can expect to win more important roles, he said. "They're always goal setting."
The lead roles go to the senior students, Jones explained. "Normally they've been with us a number of years, and they have a good bit of training."
He singled out for special praise Sara Kavsak, a student at Lakeside High School, Amanda Parnell, a junior at Evans, and Caroline Griggs, a senior at Greenbrier.
Jones said the color-filled presentation of "The Roar of Love" has been the academy's most successful production each year. "Our success with 'Roar of Love' is actually three times as successful as 'The Nutcracker,' " he said. "It allows us to use the Bell Auditorium."
The Bell Auditorium is very expensive, he said, but it is necessary because of its backstage facilities, which are not matched by any other auditorium in Augusta.
He said the story of "The Roar of Love," with its theme of love, "renews us each year."
He said the story is the most important aspect of the production. "Dance is just the vehicle to tell this story," he added.
Jones said two shows for students will be presented Friday afternoon. He said he expects about 3,000 students to attend.
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