Performances this week of The New Nutcracker will reunite a duo of teen dancers in lead roles.
Columbia County Ballet dancers Nathan Lubeck, 17, and Alyssa Cameron, 18, will portray the Cavalier and Sugar Plum Fairy, respectively, during performances Friday through Sunday, Nov. 22, at the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center.
Eight years ago, Lubeck, then 9, played Fritz; Cameron, who was 10, portrayed Clara.
"Now they are leading the cast," said Ron Jones, Columbia County Ballet's artistic director. "Isn't that something? They've come full circle."
When Lubeck and Cameron take the stage this weekend, it will mark the final New Nutcracker performances for both dancers.
"It was nice to work with her again," said Lubeck, a Martinez home-schooled junior who also plays the Nutcracker Prince in a different cast. "The chemistry is very good. I'm glad she's my partner."
Cameron, a senior at Westminster Schools of Augusta, said she's having fun performing as Lubeck's partner once more.
"We've grown up together," she said. "(At the studio), you form relationships and friendships that last forever."
She added that the pair are well-suited on stage because they share similar personalities.
"They're real supportive of each other," Jones said.
Set in the Victorian era, the ballet takes place during a party at the Silberhaus house.
In the ballet, Clara receives a nutcracker doll from Herr Drosselmeyer, her eccentric uncle. Upon falling asleep, the girl dreams of a magical world where her nutcracker turns into a prince.
Later, Clara and the prince travel to the Land of Sweets, where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier.
"Clara is at the age, beginning that stage of life, where she's becoming romantic," Jones said. "She's not thinking about just her dolls anymore. She's thinking about a prince."
This year's performances will feature a dual cast. In the first cast, Kateri Sheppard and Matthew Conway will play the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier, respectively.
Show times for The New Nutcracker are 7 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22.
Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students, senior citizens and active military personnel.
For information or to purchase tickets in advance, call (706) 860-1852 or visit www. columbiacountyballet.com.
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