The Columbia County Ballet begins its holiday season Friday, Dec. 2, with a performance of The Nutcracker.
In the ballet’s 14th annual production, the audience follows lead character Clara as she watches her Nutcracker doll turn into a prince and embarks on a journey with him into the Snow Forest and Land of Sweets.
This is the second consecutive year that the company’s The Nutcracker will be held at the Imperial Theatre. In previous years, the performance took place at the Jabez Hardin Performing Arts Center in Evans.
Ballet Artistic Director Ron Jones said the Imperial’s 850-seat theater can fit many more people than the one in Columbia County. He also said there is a special aura about the Imperial.
“When the audience started filing in, you could just sense the excitement,” Jones said of last year’s performance. “We’re looking forward to another year at the Imperial.”
About 65 dancers from the Martinez dance studio will take the stage at 7 p.m.
New backdrops for the snowflake and candy land scenes in the second act will enhance the production this year, Jones said.
“It really is pretty,” he said.
The ballet will incorporate music by Russian composer Tchaikovsky that is commonly heard in shopping malls and stores throughout the Christmas holiday.
“It somehow represents in people’s mind the fantasies and the beauty and the magic of the Christmas season,” he said.
Jones, anticipating a sell-out before Dec. 2, urges people to purchase tickets in advance.