What a pleasure it was to attend The Nutcracker, an enchanting ballet produced by Dance Augusta, formerly the Augusta Ballet. As always, the costumes and scenery were beautiful and the dancers were elegant and well-rehearsed.
This production celebrated the 40th anniversary of Augusta’s Nutcracker. As I watched the ballet, through the eyes of my 4-year-old granddaughter, I wondered just how many thousands of children have been influenced by the work of Ron and Zanne Colton. Many have had the good fortune of training under their guidance at the Augusta Ballet School.
Under the tutelage of Ron, Zanne and their professional staff, these children learned the discipline it takes to balance rigorous lessons and rehearsal sessions while maintaining academic excellence. Some of them went on to dance with professional ballet companies throughout the country.
Many less-privileged children had their first glimpse of a live ballet production as they attended special productions and dance demonstrations made possible through Dance Augusta’s Outreach Program. For thousands of us, Dance Augusta’s annual production of The Nutcracker is our first official glimpse of holiday magic.
Augusta is so fortune that Ron Colton, director emeritus, took a leap of faith when he left the New York City Ballet in 1964 to come to Augusta and build a ballet company. Zanne Colton, after many years of stealing hearts with her beautiful performances, took over the artistic leadership when Ron retired.
Here’s a standing ovation to the Coltons and all their prodigies who have brought magic to Augusta for 40 years.
Jo Endres Maypole