The Columbia County Ballet's 23rd annual production of Roar of Love presents a story that has close ties to Easter.
"The whole story is based on the Easter story," said Kathleen Jones, a co-owner of the ballet studio in Martinez. "This is the first year that Easter falls right in the same time frame (as Roar of Love). It never has happened in the 22 years we've done this."
The performances will be held at 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday at Augusta's Bell Auditorium.
Roar of Love is based on C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Jones said the ballet is similar to the Disney version of the story, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, released in December 2005.
Jones said she and her husband, Ron, started embellishing parts of the tale to clarify the plot and extend the story line.
"We created a lot of these roles that aren't in the story, like fireflies and cherubs, so that our entire school body could participate every year," said Jones, who also is the pre-ballet director at the school.
The school's 250 dancers have been practicing for the show since January, but Jones said she starts subtly teaching the younger dancers in August.
This year, the show features an eclectic and powerful guest dancer from Atlanta, she said.
Rikki McKinney will play the captain of the witch's secret police and will pair up with Adrienne Poarch, who dances the lead role of the White Witch to create what Jones calls a dynamic performance.
The ballet has been performed in a variety of locations through the years. It began at the Bon Air Hotel in 1985, then was moved to the Imperial Theater.
Bell Auditorium has been home to the production for nearly 20 years, Jones said.
"We really need a theater that size to house everything that we do with the Roar of Love, " she said.
Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens.
For information or tickets, visit www.columbiacountyballet.com or call (706) 860-1852.
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