Augusta West Dance companies are celebrating the holiday season by bringing to life a timeless Christmas story.
More than 50 cast members, ages 8-18, from the studio's four performing companies will take to Augusta State University's performing arts stage Saturday to put on an adaptation of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, to be called It's the Night Before Christmas.
"It is a great, fun production, which encompasses the magic and miracle of Christmas," said Cindy Folger, a studio artistic director. The story has been performed by Augusta West dancers for about 26 years.
The production, which includes all types of dance from ballet and tap to jazz and lyrical, tells the story of a mother and her children who fall asleep next to the Christmas tree and are visited by the Sugar Plum Fairy.
The fairy leads the family to Santa's workshop, where all the dolls get one last test, when they come to life and dance. The production includes appearances by Santa Claus and Rudolph and ends with a Nativity and the heavenly host bringing peace to Earth.
"We have had 1-year-olds mesmerized throughout the whole thing," Folger said. "It is very bright and colorful and for all children. It's for every child in all of us."
Proceeds from the production will go to several area children's charities, including Camp Rainbow.
The studio will perform at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday in Augusta State's Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre. Tickets cost $10 and $8 for children and seniors. Tickets are available at the door and by calling the studio at (706) 860-0998.
In other upcoming Christmas events, Columbia County is holding a black-tie gathering Saturday to help arts groups use its new performing arts center.
The Christmas Concert will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center inside the Columbia County Library on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans.
The proceeds go toward the center's endowment fund.
"If local performing arts groups cannot afford the rental fees for the performing arts center, if accepted, they'll receive a grant to help," said Brooks Willis, a community events specialist for the county. A grant request would go to the Community Events committee for approval.
The holiday concert features pianist Tom Owings; traditional Irish music from Lillie Morris, Michael Hay, Andi Hearn and Davey Mathias; and classical guitar from Marina Alexandra.
"Any money we raise goes towards the fund," Willis said. Funds were raised for the endowment fund at the January 2005 library preview gala.
Tickets cost $50 each and include drinks and heavy hors d'oeuvres.
For more information or to reserve a ticket, call Willis at (706) 312-7194.
If you go
What: Augusta West Dance Studio's It's the Night Before Christmas
When: 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Grover C. Maxwell Prforming Arts Theatre at Augusta State University in Augusta
Cost: $10 for adults and $8 for children and seniors
What: Christmas Concert benefitting the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center Endowment Fund
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center on Ronald Reagan Drive in Evans
Cost: $50 per ticket
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