Columbia County Ballet dancers are prepared to retell The Chronicles of Narnia on stage Saturday at the Bell Auditorium.
Two showings of The Roar of Love's 24th annual production will be performed at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the auditorium at 712 Telfair St. in Augusta.
"It just seems to get a little bit richer each year," said Ron Jones, co-founder and executive director of the Martinez ballet studio. "We see our students go deeper into Narnia, and more of the story is revealed to them."
The Roar of Love is an interpretation of C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
The story begins with a girl named Lucy, who steps into her clothes closet and is transported to the world of Narnia. After returning to her room, her skeptical brothers, sister and cat follow her back through the magical closet.
During their stay in Narnia, Lucy's brother, Edmund, is captured by the White Witch. A huge war erupts when the benevolent lion Asland returns to the land to protect the children. Edmund's fate lies in the hands of Asland.
The stage will be equipped with professional lighting and new scenes will be rented, Jones said. New costumes for Asland and the Maiden of Sorrow, Hope and Joy were created by a group of volunteers from the ballet. Alumni also will return to perform a dance in the production.
"They bring in the maturity," Jones said. "It kind of lends a richness to the whole cast to have their influence."
About 300 dancers, as young as 3 years old, will perform in the ballet, and the groups have been rehearsing since January.
During last year's performance, Jones said the cast received a standing ovation.
"All these children get to go through Narnia, and at the end, they're all out on stage and the audience just jumped to their feet," he said. "It was very heartwarming."
The ballet started holding performances in the Bon Air Hotel, followed by the Imperial Theater. The Roar of Love has been held at the Bell Auditorium for the past 19 years, Jones said.
"Because it's narrated and it is a story and you follow the adventure of these four children and their cat Penelope, it just engages children of all ages, which includes adults," Jones said.
Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students, active military personnel and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased at the door, online at www.columbiacountyballet.com, or by calling (706) 860-1852.
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