An extra performance of the Columbia County Ballet's version of The Nutcracker has been added to this year's schedule.
"With The New Nutcracker's increasing popularity, we sold out every seat, and we had to turn people away, which was kind of a sad thing," said Ron Jones, the ballet's artistic director. "We didn't want to do that."
The ballet production company's opening performance will start at 7 p.m. Friday at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center at the Columbia County Library. Additional shows will be Saturday at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Dancers also will perform four special shows for pupils from area schools.
The New Nutcracker is divided into two acts and begins in the Victorian era with a holiday party at the Silberhaus' house.
Clara, one of the children at the party, receives a nutcracker doll from her eccentric uncle, Herr Drosselmeyer. When she falls asleep that night, Clara dreams of a magical world where her nutcracker turns into a prince.
"You see Clara as a little girl playing with her nutcracker, but then you also see her going into this transition," Jones said.
In Act 2, Clara and the prince wander into the Land of Sweets, where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier.
Musical selections during the performance include the Sugar Plum fairy dance and Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers .
"It's a beautiful way to start the holidays," Jones said. "It's very warm and fuzzy, but it's also got that magic that children just love."
Dancers include Elizabeth Kenyon as Clara, Nathan Lubeck as the Prince, Naomi Hergott and Kateri Sheppard as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Matthew Conway as the Cavalier, Michael Conway as the Mouse King and Stan Kuzia as Uncle Drosselmeyer.
A new silk backdrop and new costumes for the Snowflakes and the Sugar Plum Fairy were purchased for this year's production.
The Columbia County Ballet received grants from their presenting sponsor, Sports Medicine Associates, and Columbia County commissioners to fund the improvements.
Tickets to The New Nutcracker cost $20 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens.
For information or to purchase tickets, call (706) 860-1852 or visit www.columbiacountyballet.com.
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