For more than 20 years, the Columbia County Ballet, formerly the Ron Jones Academy of Ballet, has entertained and enthralled audiences with its production of The Roar of Love, based on C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
"The Roar of Love is in its 22nd year," said Jones, the group's director.
This year's public performances, featuring more than 250 cast members, are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Bell Auditorium.
The curtain call for Friday's performance is 7 p.m.; Saturday's performance will start at 3 p.m.
Two additional performances will be held Friday for schoolchildren.
Tickets for the public performances, which cost $17 for adults and $12 for seniors and children, can be ordered by calling the ballet group at (706) 860-1852.
When Jones envisioned The Roar of Love and staged it for the first time in 1985 at the Bon Air Hotel, it was intended to be an end-of-season performance.
Now, The Roar of Love is held during the peak of the ballet season.
"It's an edifying experience for our students," Jones said. "It's brand new every time we do it. We're working with the same students and some new ones, but they are going into different roles. What we tell our students is it's their job to bring the story to the audience."
Jones said The Chronicles of Narnia was the first present he gave to his wife, Kathleen, when the two were dating.
He said that when the Christian band 2nd Chapter of Acts came out with The Roar of Love, which tells the story of the first book of The Chronicles of Narnia, he knew he would turn it into a production for his company.
"This is where memories are made. This is where characters are forged," he said of the annual production. "This is where bravery and daring meet with the faith of a child and engage the spirit in something greater than mere entertainment. This is The Roar of Love."
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